translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, verywronganswer
Cheng Yuan’s talent and ability were obvious to all, but Cheng Yuan’s advisors weren’t actually very fond of this student of theirs.
This was because Cheng Yuan had quite a big problem. He suffered from stage fright.
In private, Cheng Yuan could play incredibly high-level music with his classmates, his skill level on par with the best of the best. His advisor had given him the opportunity to perform before, but he brought with him a naturally terrified temperament whenever he went up on stage. Unintentional vibratos and off pitched sounds would often occur, and even during the graduation concert where every graduate had to perform in, his performance was mediocre.
No wonder Cheng Yuan’s advisors didn’t take care of him.
For a teacher, it was better to close their eyes than have to watch a piece of unpolished jade doom itself to become dusty, forever unable to shine.
Fortunately, Cheng Yuan himself didn’t like standing out. Furthermore, he came from that kind of family background. If there was no Yang Baihua, he could have just spent the rest of his life hiding behind the scenes happily playing music with no problem.
If it had been the real Cheng Yuan, upon hearing “test out your music”, he would definitely have been too nervous to sleep for half the night.
In comparison, Chi Xiaochi calmly made himself a salad and casually called Cheng Jian to let him know that he’d received an audition notice.
061 asked him, “Not nervous?”
“I have thick skin,” Chi Xiaochi said, “Also, I did debut as a model. You probably knew this already, right?”
“Being a model requires one to be able to improvise effectively,” Chi Xiaochi said, “The year I turned seventeen, I walked in a runway show. The theme was ‘fur clothing’, and I was the third model to walk down the runway. Some people from animal protection organisations somehow made their way in, and started a protest. They jumped up onto the runway with their banners, blocking the models. They were shouting and yelling, some even recited poems or gave speeches, it was incredibly lively. Their timing was just right, they were just in time for me to come on stage. Before I could take even a few steps down the runway, they’d all rushed up already.”
061 asked, “What happened then?”
“I could have totally lost my head and ran back backstage, but if I did that, the subsequent rhythm would have been completely disrupted and the show would have fallen apart,” Chi Xiaochi stabbed a cherry tomato with his fork, “It’s good that these people have their own beliefs and ideals. But I accepted the organiser’s money, so I was obliged to help them finish the show. That’s professional ethics.”
Immediately following that, he commented on tomorrow’s audition, “This isn’t a big event, but I’ll still take it seriously.”
061 thought, that sounds really marvellous.
After he read Chi Xiaochi to sleep later, he could go visit 023 to see if there were any recordings from this event.
That night, the book 061 read to Chi Xiaochi was on the geography of China.
Before 061 could finish listing out all the names of places and rivers in China, Chi Xiaochi fell asleep.
On Chi Xiaochi’s report card, politics was ranked second, and geography was ranked first.
The facts proved that this ranking was very scientific and logical, because listing out the the names of places made Chi Xiaochi fall asleep ten minutes faster than reciting about how “substance determines consciousness”.
Chi Xiaochi’s sleep was still very shallow, but for him, that was enough.
When he woke up, he felt as if he had unlimited energy, enough that he could help Cheng Yuan hold a concert.
At half-past seven, Chi Xiaochi dressed himself up neatly, and went downstairs.
Cheng Jian, who had volunteered to drive him to the audition, was leaning against his car, waiting for him. Seeing him dressed in an acid-washed denim jacket, showing off his long, neat hands and neck, he raised his eyebrows.
Before he could make any trouble for him, Chi Xiaochi, rubbing his palms, slipped into the backseat, “So cold, so cold.”
Cheng Jian “tch”-ed, then got into the driver’s seat, “You really know how to pick seats ah Mister Boss.”
Chi Xiaochi pushed the back of his seat, “Driver Cheng, start the car.”
Cheng Jian took off his coat and threw it towards the backseat, hitting Cheng Yuan in the face, “Help me hold that.”
Chi Xiaochi bundled up his coat, using its residual warmth to warm his hands.
Cheng Jian glanced at the rearview mirror, “Don’t you know how expensive that coat is?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t move an inch, continuing to warm his hands. He said shamelessly, “Just pretend I’m a coat hanger.”
Cheng Jian, “Pfft……cough.”
He rarely saw his younger brother so lively.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Cheng Jian admitted, having had to work hard to feed and support Yang Baihua all the way from the remote mountain recesses, the Yang family really must not have had it easy.
However, because of this, to Yang Baihua, only the Yang family was considered “his people”, while Cheng Yuan who had offered him his sincere heart, and treated him so well, was an “outsider”.
If there was no conflict, that would be fine, but the moment conflict occurred, it would be impossible for Yang Baihua to protect Cheng Yuan.
It was just that bystanders had no way to lend their eyes to the people involved. Cheng Jian could provide endless arguments, but when said aloud, no one listened. It was inevitable that he’d get angry.
Cheng Jian could only seize this short opportunity to sound him out, “How are you and Yang Baihua? Has he told his parents about the two of you?”
Chi Xiaochi shook his head, his face unable to hide his desolation.
Cheng Jian breathed out a long breath, managing to choke back his instinctual “fuck”.
He said, “He’s unwilling to let his parents know about your existence. Don’t tell me you don’t know what that means.”
Chi Xiaochi sniffled, not responding.
Cheng Jian didn’t quite get it, “What’s even good about him?” Like Yang Baihua, this student of humble origins, Cheng Jian made a lot of money in his company. Although they were more or less influenced by their respective families, they were both men, they should be daring enough to act, and be courageous enough to take responsibility for it.
Chi Xiaochi really wanted to say, ‘I also don’t really understand what’s good about him. Considering everything he’d done to Cheng Yuan, the only thing about him that amazes me is that a pile of garbage can actually be stacked as high as 1.8 meters.’
But the original Cheng Yuan loved him far too deeply, Chi Xiaochi couldn’t collapse his character settings.
So he acted deeply impassioned, saying, “There’s a man, he makes ten thousand a month, but is only willing to spend one thousand for you; the other man makes one thousand a month, but is willing to spend 999 yuan for you. Ge, if it was you, which one would you choose?”
Chi Xiaochi felt like there was a Holy Father halo shining above his head, like a power generator fuelled by love.
Whilst quietly listening on the side, 061 shivered at this expired, rancid chicken soup.
Cheng Jian had a face full of displeasure, “En, he has a thousand yuan, and he’ll spend nine hundred and ninety-nine on you, leaving just one yuan. You two can open your mouths and drink the northwest wind for a month then.”
Chi Xiaochi thought, this comrade surnamed Cheng, even though I really agree with your way of thinking, but if I were Cheng Yuan, you’d have already killed the conversation.
The moment the words left his mouth, Cheng Jian noticed that his younger brother’s mood wasn’t quite right and eased up his tone, “……Have you had breakfast yet?”
If it weren’t for the fact that he was worried that if he talked too much, he’d affect Cheng Yuan’s performance for his audition today, Cheng Jian reckoned that he wouldn’t have given up this opportunity to brainwash his younger brother into seeing sense.
Chi Xiaochi remained listless until they reached Xingyuan Entertainment. From far away, he could see two people standing out in the freezing wind, waiting to receive them. From their age and the way they dressed, they definitely weren’t just any old assistant, at the very least they were at the level of deputy director.
Chi Xiaochi chatted with the system, “This isn’t the type of treatment an ordinary singer coming for an audition would receive.”
061 said, “This is the treatment the second young master of the Cheng family would receive.”
Cheng Jian also opened his mouth in time to encourage his younger brother, “Keep your spirits up, don’t be nervous.”
Before Chi Xiaochi could thank Cheng Jian for his rare consideration, he then heard him continue, “I already talked to some people in advance. You can just sing however you like.”
Cheng Jian was well aware of his brother’s stagefright in such situations, so he’d pulled some strings in advance.
This “anxiety” pill he’d been fed was a little too high-quality and filling, and a bit choking.
He could imagine, if the real Cheng Yuan were here, what his mood would be like.
Chi Xiaochi sighed, “Teacher Liu, when can you give my brother a class on the study on language and the arts?”
061, “……???” Who’s Teacher Liu.
Chi Xiaochi said worriedly, “The way he talks makes people want to beat him up.”
However, when he entered the audition room, Chi Xiaochi’s entire person calmed down.
Like Tang Huan’s Yundu Entertainment, Xingyun Entertainment had weaved a vast entertainment network. It had numerous subsidiaries, covering all aspects of the entertainment industry, such as music, film, and television, etcetera. Flying Fox Music was its number one brand out of all its subsidiaries, and the people in charge of Chi Xiaochi’s interview were two deputy directors and a music producer from Flying Fox music. This lineup couldn’t be dismissed as insignificant.
They first asked a few professional questions according to interview protocol.
These few questions could even be answered by second-year students in music school, simple to the point of raising people’s hackles.
Chi Xiaochi sighed to 061, “This is my first time experiencing the unspoken rules up close and personal.”
The situation seemed simple, but it was ultimately achieved through Chi Xiaochi’s own efforts.
All his previous hosts had been scared of the timeline going wrong, simply honestly following the plot, so he hadn’t even had the chance to experience the unspoken rules.
Soon, they reached the singing phase of the audition.
Waiting outside, separated by only a glass wall, Cheng Jian gave the two deputy directors a meaningful look.
They gave him a knowing nod, but the producer didn’t seem very keen on that. A cold expression appeared on his face, and he stared at Chi Xiaochi with crossed arms.
If not for him having heard the demos, and becoming interested in Chi Xiaochi’s voice, Su Xiulun, the producer for Flying Fox Music, would not have specially made the trip here.
However, the repeated urgings of the two deputy directors, as well as the trifling questions just now, had gradually made him lose interest in Chi Xiaochi.
Being ‘live’ was the life of a performer.
There were already far too many ‘recording studio singers’, they didn’t need another person in Cheng Yuan.
Chi Xiaochi sat down in front of the piano and lifted the lid. His ten fingers fell on the black and white keys, his mind calm as a still pond.
He thought, Cheng Yuan, I’ve done everything I could for you. Now, it’s your turn.
The moment their minds met, an innumerable wave of emotions rushed into Chi Xiaochi’s mind.
But before he completely succumbed to the control of those emotions, Chi Xiaochi spoke up, “061, use the ‘Single Skill Enhancement’ card.”
061 was slightly astonished, “There’s no need to……”
Chi Xiaochi stroked the piano with both hands, “Su Xiulun is here.”
“Flying Fox Music’s gold medal producer. Right now, Cheng Yuan needs someone like him. So Cheng Yuan needs to perform his absolute best.”
These words were incomparably rational and cold, but 061 noticed that Chi Xiaochi said “Cheng Yuan”, instead of “I”.
……Cheng Yuan needed it, not Chi Xiaochi.
He very clearly distinguished, that this talent, this glory, did not belong to himself, Chi Xiaochi.
Chi Xiaochi said, “I want to let Cheng Yuan see, if he can make good use of the cards in his hands, how good his life will be.”
061 felt his heart move slightly, “Understood.”
He opened up the shop, selected the skill card Chi Xiaochi needed, and clicked ‘Use’.
Name: Single Skill Enhancement (Trial Edition)
Duration: 10 minutes
Type: Single use only
Points required: 0 (Free trial)
Description: The skill level of the abilities of the original host will be doubled, like adding tender tofu to fish head, a thousand rolls of tofu and ten thousand rolls of fish, they complement one another, creating an even more delicious taste.
Chi Xiaochi, “……” This description gave him a sudden craving for fish head.
After collecting his thoughts, Chi Xiaochi then played the first chord.
He was singing 《Innermost Thoughts》. It was Cheng Yuan’s favourite song, as well as the one that even had its title copied onto the cover of Tang Huan’s CD album cover.
“I’m willing to become a book beside your pillow, read carefully by you……”
The moment Cheng Yuan opened his mouth, Su Xiulun jolted upright.
The expressions of the two deputy directors also gradually changed.
After listening for a while, one of them looked out towards the glass wall at Cheng Jian in astonishment, only to find that he was just as stupefied as he was.
Cheng Yuan had incredible control over his voice. His vocal cords seemed as if they’d been miraculously blessed. This kind of abundant innate talent made it so that he didn’t have to expend any effort controlling his pitch and timbre, allowing him to focus on expressing the feelings he wanted to express.
Not to mention that his voice was just like a top-notch musical instrument.
Chi Xiaochi confidently left the musical side of the performance to Cheng Yuan, while the external emotions were expressed by him.
Since the latter was Chi Xiaochi’s speciality.
With any prior rehearsal, Cheng Yuan improvised three songs in sequence, making many on the spot revisions to the melody as he sang. 《Innermost Feelings》was melodic, 《Love You》was lively, and 《Autumn Thoughts》was sad. Cheng Yuan gradually progressed through the three types of songs, telling the tragic story of a teenager addicted to love.
When the song was over, Chi Xiaochi closed the piano cover, looked up out of the glass wall, and gave Cheng Jian a small, tearful smile.
Cheng Jian didn’t understand music, but his brother’s bitter smile made his heart ache inexplicably.
Chi Xiaochi acted quickly, managing to wrestle his emotions back in order within a few blinks, and rose from the piano, “Thank you, teachers.”
When Chi Xiaochi left the music room, Cheng Jian enveloped him in a hug, not saying a word, hugging him tightly to himself.
He didn’t know why he did that, he just felt like he owed him this hug, as if…… if he didn’t do it while he still could, he might never get the chance to for the rest of his life.
This type of intimate action was quite normal between brothers, but 061 noticed that upon being embraced, Chi Xiaochi’s muscles immediately stiffened, his body temperature suddenly rose, and his breathing became a little rushed, as if violently averse to this kind of contact.
Thankfully, Cheng Jian only gave him a quick hug, and after being released, Chi Xiaochi quickly returned to normal.
Su Xiulun was so excited that he was unable to sit still, pulling Chi Xiaochi off to the side with him to discuss their discipline, while the two deputy directors, knowing that they’d picked up a gem, smiled widely and said to Cheng Jian, “Mister Cheng, you’re really too modest.”
Cheng Jian tried his best to push down the corners of his mouth.
……He was really happy, but he needed to pretend he didn’t care.
He tried to remain aloof as he replied modestly, “Cheng Yuan performed quite well this time.”
During their conversation, Cheng Yuan’s phone, which had been placed into Cheng Jian’s pocket before the audition, buzzed.
He took out the cell phone, and saw the two words “Old Yang” written in large font jumping out from the screen.
Cheng Jian looked up at his younger brother, who was happily chatting with Su Xiulun.
With a slam, Cheng Jian hung up.
This was very reasonable, for Cheng Yuan, now was not a good time for him to answer Yang Baihua’s call.
On the other side of the phone call, Yang Baihua held his phone which was buzzing with a ‘busy’ signal, the expression on his face incredibly ugly.
He’d sent his parent, third sister, and nephew back home, and called Cheng Yuan to ask when he was moving back.
……But he dared to hang up on him?
The author has something to say:
Scum Yang: Aren’t I the person you love the most? Why aren’t you saying anything?
Xiaochi: No, fuck off.
Also, the story of the protestors in the runway show was taken from the real life incident of the supermodel, Lady G. w
Chi Xiaochi: The only thing about Yang Baihua that amazes me is that a pile of garbage can actually be stacked as high as 1.8 meters.
baum: omg lmfao
sere: same lmao
very: thats not a trash bin, it’s a dumpster