Zhuo Yixuan stood in front of the stone wall, tightening the black cashmere shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She glanced behind with a sleepy expression, and then turned to the coast hidden in the night ahead.
“I said that I don’t want to participate in this kind of program, who wants to compete with a bunch of unknown low-level screenwriters for a ridiculous title, isn’t that lowering my position?”
“What is the situation now, don’t you know, don’t be self-willed anymore.” The agent said helplessly from the phone, “You know how much time and effort we spent on networking and how many navies were hired to force the public opinion back after the news about you pretending to be Mengzhi was exposed? If you don’t come up with something that can prove your skills and bring back your reputation—you will always be so black and never become popular in the future!”
Zhuo Yixuan couldn’t refute this, and after being silent, she just lightened her voice, still unconvinced. She snorted: “How am I supposed to do that? By participating in a show where the production of the first episode is about to start but it is still unheard of online?”
“It is being produced by the most promising dark horse company in the country—this program will not have any problems, as long as you perform well, then you can use this program to regain your position in the screenwriting world.”
Zhuo Yixuan felt her agent’s words were dubious, but her impatience and restlessness were finally calmed down.
Zhuo Yixuan glanced behind her, seeing that no one was paying attention, she lowered her voice, and asked, “Do you have any preparations for the script in the show?… Of course I can write it myself, but it’s not foolproof.”
Manager: “Although this program group is very secretive and won’t reveal the process, but don’t worry—didn’t I create a new folder for you in your computer? There are a bunch of material scripts in it, so don’t worry about it when the time comes, no matter how difficult they make it, you can always find a suitable one, right?”
The corners of Zhuo Yixuan’s mouth curled up, but quickly flattened: “Yes, you are quite prepared.”
“This is our opportunity for a turnaround, if we are not prepared, how can I rest assured to send you there?”
After another exhortation, the call finally ended under Zhuo Yixuan’s impatience.
The sea breeze was even cooler at night, and even if only a few strands of it penetrated through the newly erected fence, it was so cold that Zhuo Yixuan couldn’t help but tighten the shawl on her body.
“What the hell program group, chose such a place…” Zhuo Yixuan muttered dissatisfiedly, and walked towards the long table that was set up.
The long table was covered with clean white tablecloths, retro candle holders on both sides, and a row of glazed vases filled with red roses were placed in the middle.
On both sides of the white tablecloth, there were four chairs in each row. Napkins folded into flower shapes bloomed on the polished dinner plate.
The staff of the program group checked from the side: “Who hasn’t arrived yet?”
“The actors and screenwriters are missing one each. I just received the news that they seemed to have lost their way on the island.”
“Hey, this place is the size of a pea. Can they still get lost, how bad is their sense of direction?”
“Wait a little longer.”
“Oh, that’s the only way to go.”
Zhuo Yixuan proudly walked past the two chatting staff with her chin hooked, her heart lightening when she heard this.
Being late because of being lost? How old- fashioned was this reason.
Forget about actors, what’s up with the screenwriter team, a bunch of low-level screenwriters, she didn’t know where they found them, they were acting even bigger than her.
Zhuo Yixuan stopped by the long table, and when she was considering where she should sit, she heard one of the staff who just passed by and suddenly raised her head.
“Ah, they are finally here.”
Zhuo Yixuan glanced over casually and her eyes fell on the staircase entrance of the terrace, and then she saw two figures walking up from the stone steps one after the other.
Tousled hair, silver eyes, black T-shirt, slender waist and slender legs wrapped in khaki trousers.
The silhouette of the young man leading the little girl behind him, patiently waiting for her to come up with half-lowered eyes, was enough to make those who had never seen him on the terrace stunned for a few seconds.
Zhuo Yixuan’s figure was also shocked.
While she instinctively suspected that this was her own illusion, she heard the staff behind her recover and start talking softly.
“Actor? So good-looking?”
“It should be.”
“A new debutant? Otherwise, why would he have been buried for so long, I don’t even know his name.”
“The one registered on the information form is Luo Xiu, and I don’t know him either.”
“However, I guess he will become popular after the first episode airs.”
Zhuo Yixuan managed to recover.
The joy in her eyes didn’t last a second, when she saw clearly the appearance of the girl behind the man and her face suddenly froze –
Why was it this lingering spirit Gu Nian again!
On the stone steps.
As soon as Gu Nian stepped onto the terrace, she felt a very strong gaze on her. She raised her head instinctively and met Zhuo Yixuan’s cold eyes.
Gu Nian was expressionless and looked away.
Zhuo Yixuan clenched her fingers tightly: That little screenwriter actually ignored her again!
Before Zhuo Yixuan could break out, the staff of the program group had already spoken into the loudspeakers they had prepared: “The eight guests have arrived, and you can sit at the table now—come on, the four screenwriter teachers, please sit on my left hand. Next, the four actor teachers, please sit on my right.”
Gu Nian was very disappointed that her platform was about to be dismantled as soon as she first came up: she also planned to experience the loving motherhood by helping her baby peel shrimp or shellfish or by picking up vegetables for him, in this way she could also correct her mother fan route that had been tending to go astray today.
She didn’t know if Luo Xiu saw through this little depression. Just as Gu Nian lowered her head for two seconds, he heard a chuckle from above her head: “I want to sit opposite you, is that okay?”
“!” Gu Nian’s eyes lit up, and she raised her head swishingly: “Of course!”
“Then you choose first?”
“Okay, let’s sit—huh?”
Looking at the slender figure beside the long table, Gu Nian was stunned.
The other party happened to be looking at this side too, and after meeting Gu Nian’s gaze, the girl nodded slowly towards the two of them, showing a kind smile.
Gu Nian regained consciousness: “Why is Zong Shiyi here?”
Luo Xiu paused, lowered his eyes and asked gently: “You don’t like her?”
“Personally, I quite like her, but didn’t she specifically refuse to play against you in “Demons”?” Gu Nian wrinkled her face expressively, “I hold a grudge.”
Luo Xiu smiled lightly.
When Gu Nian saw this, she turned her head with a bit of resentment, and said softly, “She has treated you like that, how can you still smile. Don’t you hold grudges?”
Luo Xiu said frankly: “There is no grudge to remember.”
Gu Nian turned back, sighing: “It’s not good for you to be so kind in the circle, you will be eaten whole.”
The smile in Luo Xiu’s eyes deepened, but he suppressed it and hid it.
Gu Nian could only hear his soft voice: “It’s okay, aren’t you here?”
Gu Nian thought for a while, then nodded vigorously: “Okay, I will!”
Luo Xiu: “Shall we go there together?”
The first formal dinner arranged by the program group was very sumptuous. It was a pity that there were three women and one man in the screenwriting group, except for Gu Nian, the others didn’t seem to have much appetite; while the actors were two men and two women, and the three other than Luo Xiu were all popular actors with some fame in the circle. Probably in order to control their weight, the three of them were basically eating cat-like portions.
Luo Xiu didn’t eat much, Gu Nian knew that it was because of stomach problems, in order to avoid increasing the burden on his stomach function, he always ate a small amount at night.
Gu Nian stared sadly at the untouched dinner plate of her baby.
If he had terminated the contract with Dingke media, his assistant and manager should also have been taken back. Didn’t that mean no one was there to prepare evening tea for him to nourish his stomach?
She had learned a few stomach-nourishing soup recipes at home and from the Internet before, but the ingredients on the island were limited, and the kitchen might not be open… Gu Nian was still worrying, when the familiar loudspeaker sounded—
“Since the eight guests have already finished their meal and before the free communication session later, the program team will announce the rules and procedures of the program to everyone.”
The point of waiting all night finally came.
The several people around the table became tense at the same time, and all looked at the leader of the director team who had come to the head of the table.
Coincidentally, the one who came to read out the rules was the expressionless young person in charge who took Gu Nian on board during the day and said that he had arsenic hidden in his back molars.
Gu Nian: … I have a bad feeling.
The person in charge came over with a tablet. He stopped at the head of the table, didn’t respond to the gazes that fell on him, just lowered his head and started reading in a calm tone.
“”Gold Medal Screenwriter” has a total of 8 resident guests, of which 4 screenwriter teachers will participate in the competition, and 4 actor teachers will be assigned to the screenwriters. The specific process is as follows.”
“The core theme would be announced, and the creation of the four screenwriting teachers must be based on the theme of this word.”
“Second, after the recording starts, the program group will randomly distribute 8 different script keywords to 8 guests, and the guests will not know each other’s words; after the distribution is completed, a small game will be played in each episode to match the screenwriter and actor.”
“Third, after the current pairing is completed, four groups will be formed. In each group, the screenwriter teacher must use the core words as the theme and must add script keywords carried by the two members of the group as elements to complete the original script.”
“Fourth, script creation time is limited to three days, and rehearsal time is limited to three days. The final performance must be controlled within half an hour. Each script must be starred by an actor teacher from the group, and the rest of the actors will be provided by the program group on as-needed basis.”
“Fifth, once the creation and rehearsal are over, the group will perform live on stage in the order of drawing lots, and the judges and professional film critics we have invited will give comprehensive scores based on that.”
The young person in charge finished reading with a blank expression, looked up and slowly glanced around: “Excuse me, teachers, are there any uncertainties or doubts?”
The four actors who were to stay out of the matter looked sympathetically at the four screenwriters opposite.
The young screenwriters selected from the previous two written test interviews were probably shocked by the rules, while Gu Nian was under the shadow of what happened during daytime. So, looking at his expressionless face, she didn’t have any questions to ask, and in the end only Zhuo Yixuan spoke.
“So, one common theme word, two random key words, improvisation to complete a complete script within three days, which must be finished within half an hour?”
The person in charge nodded: “Thank you for the summary.”
Zhuo Yixuan frowned and asked: “So the rules are like propositional composition, won’t it stifle the subjective initiative of creation too much?”
The person in charge: “Script.”
Zhuo Yixuan: “What?”
The person in charge repeated blankly: “It’s a propositional script, not a propositional composition.”
Zhuo Yixuan: “…”
The person in charge looked at the others: “Teachers, do you have any other questions?”
After Zhuo Yixuan took the initiative to “bring shame on herself”, the other two young screenwriters who recovered their senses obviously didn’t want to ask about it anymore again.
The person in charge looked back again: “Then I’ll read out the three rules you must follow. First of all, the four screenwriting teachers must ensure that the scripts in the program are personal original works that have not been published in any form on any platform, and there is no infringement.”
As soon as this rule was finished being read, there were a few looks which, intentionally or unintentionally, fell on Zhuo Yixuan.
Zhuo Yixuan froze, her face turning sullen but she didn’t speak.
The person in charge was unmoved and continued to read: “Secondly, in order to ensure that the above rule is completely implemented, the total of 6 days of creation and rehearsal will be carried out on the island. During this period, all network signals will be blocked to avoid any illegal behavior of asking for help from outside.”
After hearing this rule, the guests on both sides of the long table showed varying degrees of shock. Even Gu Nian, whose head had been drooping, raised her eyes.
Zhuo Yixuan frowned and wanted to speak again but thinking of the gazes secretly cast on her before, she could only endure it.
“Finally, to ensure nothing goes wrong, the computer, mobile phone and other work supplies of all screenwriters and teachers must be handed over to the program team for safekeeping. All will be returned before going on stage—”
“How can this be done?” Zhuo Yixuan finally couldn’t help it.
She almost patted the table, and leaned forward with an ugly face: “Why would you take my personal belongings?”
The person in charge raised his head expressionlessly: “This is also for the sake of fairness, is there any problem, Teacher Zhuo?”
Zhuo Yixuan: “I am used to working on computer, no, there is no way to use ordinary paper and pen, it will delay my inspiration!”
The person in charge: “Please rest assured, teachers, tomorrow we will provide computers, SIM card-free mobile phones, paper and pens, etc. Any work supplies needed to ensure that every teacher’s creative inspiration will be provided.”
Zhuo Yixuan: “But…”
The person in charge: “Does Teacher Zhuo have any other questions?”
Zhuo Yixuan gritted her teeth secretly.
She knew that when no one else mentioned it, continuing to question it would only make her look suspicious.
“I have a question.”
There was silence in the field.
The person in charge’s eyes flashed slightly, and he turned his head to look at the end of the long table: “Teacher Gu?”
The girl who had been sitting there all night without any movement raised her head, her shoulder-length mid-length hair was blown soft and light by the sea breeze, but it was a pity that there was no expression on that pretty face, and her voice was too soft because of laziness.
Gu Nian lowered her arms, “Is the range of activities on the island also limited?”
“There is no network signal on the whole island, so the several teachers can move around anywhere on the island.”
“Do the teachers have any other problems?”
Under Zhuo Yixuan’s unwilling and restrained gaze, the person in charge calmly announced that the reading of the rules was over and it was time for free communication.
After confirming that there were no other activities scheduled for tonight, all three screenwriters except Gu Nian “ran away”.
T/N: As you all must be knowing Fringe Capybara used an unconventional method of numbering her translations, so after careful checking, I found that she was in the middle of this chapter when she left off, so I decided to translate this chapter from scratch… Hope I was able to do it justice.
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