STB: Chapter 11 – Love

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Love


Li Fei’s expression stiffened.

His eyes were astonished, as if he was seeing Jian Hua for the first time. He couldn’t help looking at the other person from head to toe.

Despite throwing out such shocking words, Jian Hua just flipped through the coffee shop menu as if nothing happened. In this conversation, Jian Hua had always been at a disadvantage against Li Fei. He played this card and reversed the situation.

Moreover—

Jian Hua narrowed his eyes slightly. He didn’t think he could hide.

In the morning when Jian Hua answered the phone, Li Fei didn’t mention his identity yet but Jian Hua knew from his voice. Then after finding out that Li Fei also had an ability in his body, Jian Hua’s mind was shaken and he was attracted to the poster in the magazine.

He had already exposed too much…

Jian Hua ordered a cup of American coffee and returned the menu to the employee. He didn’t understand what was so good about drinking this bitter brown drink. Li Fei told him to order what he liked, but after finding out about this store, Jian Hua didn’t want to make Li Fei lose more money. This was probably regarded as a means of friendship.

Li Fei laughed when he saw Jian Hua order the cheapest thing. “You are really kind.”

The Emperor had resumed his laughing appearance, but his forehead was slightly wrinkled like he was troubled.

In this warm and bright afternoon, they talked about Star Entertainment Media and about the movie. The atmosphere between the two people was pleasant and peaceful. The person who had been confessed to wasn’t uncomfortable and the person who uttered the impolite words was calm.

When Assistant Lin arrived, he was amazed at the sight of the two people enjoying talking to each other.

“I’m sorry for being later. There was a traffic jam.” Assistant Lin wiped his sweat and pulled the contract documents out of his briefcase.

Assistant Lin had been by Li Fei’s side for three years, so how could he not know the other person? The actor Li Fei was well known to have a good temper, but this was only Li Fei’s ‘working state.’ The atmosphere right now was very good, but who knew what Li Fei was thinking?

Li Fei said that he opened this store, but in fact, there were other people who managed the store. Li Fei only funded it.

Assistant Lin thought that he would only find Jian Hua here as he waited to sign the contract. Yet Li Fei continued to sit here and chat? There were crazy rumours online and there was the matter with Xiao Yaqin. The company was so anxious that they were ready to hold a press conference tomorrow to confirm that Li Fei was fine.

“This is my assistant, Lin Xiao.”

“Hello.” Assistant Lin felt a little bit of pain in his face. Before he came, he told the agent that Jian Hua wasn’t very good. He was too proud and one of the two types of people that Li Fei disliked. It was highly likely that Li Fei would change his mind after meeting Jian Hua.

The agent didn’t want to sign Jian Hua. Despite the obvious advantage of Jian Hua’s appearance, there were many people who could be the stand-in, so why choose someone so troublesome?

The result— It wasn’t worth mentioning, since Li Fei was the one with the final say.

Assistant Lin used the fastest speed possible to go over the points of the contract again.

The exclusive stuntman wasn’t one of the company’s artist. He was privately employed by Li Fei but belonged to Star Entertainment in name. This meant that Jian Hua’s salary came from Li Fei, similar to the fitness instructor  and assistant who were hired by the artist alone.

Jian Hua didn’t say anything as he read the contract, confirmed the terms again and signed his name.

Then he turned to Li Fei.

Normally the agent would act as the proxy to sign it, but the agent wasn’t present right now. Li Fei held out a hand and Assistant Lin could only obediently hand over a pen.

The fine black pen moved smoothly on the white paper as he signed his name above Jian Hua’s.

The smell of coffee, the green wisteria leaves, the bright sunshine and the table with the contract in the middle of it— Assistant Lin made a strange expression as he looked at the two people. He didn’t know why but he felt like this image was wrong.

“In 10 days, I have a movie that starts shooting in the North. You should go back and wait for the notice, then we will go there together.” Li Fei spread open his hand, indicating his helplessness. “I have to show my face in the public to resolve the troubles.”

The contract was signed in triplicate, with another one to be filed at the company.

Assistant Lin stamped it, put away the documents and said to Jian Hua. “At that time, we have to sign a confidentiality contract with the crew. Our side also added a person, so we should greet the crew.”

Jian Hua naturally had no objections, so the three people stood up and said goodbye. Li Fei handed the entertainment magazine to Jian Hua and said meaningfully, “I’ll give this to you.”

The way he handed over the magazine was very strange. His finger was on one of the pages and Jian Hua could see the desolate background of Crow in a corner of the magazine.

Jian Hua’s pupils contracted. However, he took the magazine without saying anything and turned away.

“This is…” Assistant Lin was surprised. Under normal circumstances, the other person should follow them to their car and say some parting words, mainly flattery. Lin Xiao saw Li Fei’s gloomy eyes while speaking and suddenly swallowed back all his words.

Evening of the same day. Li Fei and his entourage set out to return to Haicheng. Assistant Lin was sleeping while his bodyguard Geng Tian drove the car. Li Fei suddenly asked.

“Geng Tian, what if you have a good impression of a person, only to discover that person actually likes the role you played?”

“What?” Geng Tian made an astonished expression with his innocent north-east appearance. “Are you asking me?”

Li Fei looked at him and sincerely apologized. “I’m sorry, I asked the wrong person.”

Geng Tian stayed quiet, but he rolled his eyes in the rearview mirror. The streetlights shining into the car showed Li Fei’s dark expression. Li Fei closed his eyes and recalled the plot of the movie Crow.

The protagonist, Gneral Wu, was a general stationed at a strategic garrison. He was uncommon and heroic, winning the love of the soldiers under his command.

The ruler of a vassal state started a rebellion, and plotted to seize the city. But something unforeseen occurred in the middle of the plan. A plague suddenly spread in the city. This was a key strategic city that separated the Central Plains.

If this plan failed, the ruler of the vassal state would have to suspend his plan for many years. Then his ambition would be exposed and he would be killed by the royal court.

A loyal subordinate of the vassal state’s ruler grasped the civilian and military officers who wanted to rebel.

A friend of General Wu was a doctor and discovered that the plague had spread. But the gate was blocked due to the rebels. So along with the soldiers, General Wu guarded the people who were willing to escape and rushed out overnight.

Rebels occupied the city, blocking off the areas where the disease was prevalent and leaving the people. Then in order to cover up the fact that the city fell, they sent people to kill General Wu.

The civilian and military rebels said that General Wu kidnapped the people and defected to the northern desert steppe, perhaps to take refuge in the Huns.

Hunted by two parties, his armour became blood-stained. He desperately wanted to tell people about the plague, but no one believed him.

The surviving refugees found a hidden valley and settled down here.

This part of the movie was in flashback mode. Many years later, a group was listening to the story of the legendary border ghost, General Wu. It was said that he fought fiercely, killing 100 cavalry and thousands of soldiers. There were also rumours that General Wu found hidden treasures in the desert steppe after defecting. This group followed the clues, encountered a sandstorm, got lost and through a strange combination of circumstances, came across the hidden valley and were rescued by the people in it.

The result was no treasure, no bloodthirsty General Wu. They heard a very different story, a tragic past.

In the valley, there was an elderly leg-less elder who had been part of General Wu’s guard, and he asked about the situation outside.

The outsiders talked about what happened in the past few years. Half a month after General Wu fled the city, there was a sudden heavy rainfall and the plague couldn’t be controlled. The place became a dead city.This incident took place after General Wu’s ‘treason’. The soldiers who chased after General Wu and managed to survive declared that this was a curse from General Wu. General Wu himself said, “It is an epidemic and all the people in the city will die.”

The ruler of the vassal state succeeded in usurping the throne and deliberately covered up this period of history, choosing another site for a new city.

For decades, the legend of the legendary ghost General Wu spread in the frontier. When people saw the dark crows on the tree branches, they hurriedly got rid of the crows. People believed that the crows were the embodiment of General Wu and would bring a plague on them.

 

***

“It was a day when a sandstorm occurred. The pursuing army caught up with us. General Wu and my remaining brothers sent the wounded soldiers first with the people. But after the sandstorm stopped and the sand shrouded everything.We searched over a hundred miles but never found the general’s remains… or maybe he had already been turned into bones.”

Jian Hua could recite this line perfectly. He had seen the movie 10 times, where the old man on the screen shed tears of pain.

Then the camera lens would zoom out of the desert oasis valley, moving through sand and sky to reveal General Wu in broken armour and holding a halberd, covered in blood.

The sharp eyes suddenly softened as he smiled towards the valley. He stood lonely under the bloody sunset, with crows crying out on the dry poplar trees behind him.

Then the camera slowly darkened and the figure gradually became nothingness. The wind blew and he no longer existed. There was only the vast world.

Whenever the lights turned on and the credits appeared, someone could be heard crying in the cinema.

But when they walked out of the cinema, they broke away from the story. Jian Hua, from the moment he saw Li Fei standing in front of the cameras to film Crow, he didn’t come out of it.

Li Fei’s superb acting caused the other actors to bring out 200% of their ability, and even the crew felt pained at the story.

No one else could play General Wu better. However, Li Fei wasn’t the general. Every time the director shouted cut and Li Fei smiled with others, Jian Hua felt his heart fall, like he lost something important.

This was why he initially hesitated to sign with Li Fei. The emperor of movies was a good person, so why did he fall in love with the role that the actor was playing?

—No, the role that he had a chance to play with Li Fei.

He might not have a lot of appearances, but Jian Hua tried hard to act in every scene he stood in for. As Li Fei said, his facial control wasn’t good but Jian Hua had a good grasp of the character. It wasn’t for long, but Li Fei was still impressed by this stuntman.

Of course, who wouldn’t know everything about the ‘person’ who occupied their heart?

Jian Hua tore the poster out of the magazine and attached it to his headboard, watching it for a long time.


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3 thoughts on “STB: Chapter 11 – Love

  1. raokonesepsilon

    This story is simultaneously BL rom-com and apocalypse murder mystery and I don’t know how to feel, actually… My heart can’t take it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Talmara

      Actually, I quite like the conection of the two. I’m so happy I just discovered it! All my thanks and blessings to the translator! ^-^

      Like

      Reply

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