The Ghost’s Victory
“Wen Xiao Ning! What are you trying to pull?” The Socialite shouted angrily while covering the back of her neck.
Laughter echoed from the back of the room again. Near yet far, sad yet happy. The Socialite couldn’t help but take one step back, because after the laughter, that voice questioned her with evil intent, “Then who are you? What relationship do you have with him?”
This sentence blurred the lines of acting and reality. The Socialite momentarily could not differentiate whether the person questioning her was Ning Ning or the Phantom. She was also unclear as to whether she was the Socialite, or the Wealthy Lady.
“I am his girlfriend!” The Socialite shouted angrily, “Who do you think you are? A small time actress who came from nowhere, you still want to turn people against me?”
“Although I am only an unpopular actress, but he seems to pay more attention to me?” The voice tsked twice, “Oh em gee, are you angry? What’s there to be angry about…”
The voice got closer to the Socialite. It was close enough that she could just reach out and grab it. It told her slowly, “Whether what I said was true or not, wouldn’t your heart know best?”
The Socialite pounced on the voice angrily, but ended up tripping on the coffin at her feet.
She exclaimed as she fell into the coffin. Before she could stand up, someone had closed the lid to the coffin above her.
“What are you doing?”
“Let me out! Let me out!”
“Ah ah ah ah ah!”
When Chen Guan Chao and the others arrived, a flashlight was pointed in front of them. It showed a coffin that was shaking non-stop, Ning Ning was sitting on it with her hair draped over her face. She was singing while clapping like a child, the lyrics of her song were a little weird. Upon a closer listen, it sounded like, “Kidnapees, pick your wooden puppet…”
No one dared to speak for a while. Chen Guan Chao waited for her to repeat the song two more times before he shouted, “Cut!”
Ning Ning shivered, turned around and looked at them. It was like she had just woken up from a dream. Before she could speak, she was already covered in sweat.
She got off from the coffin, turned around and opened the coffin lid. The Socialite had cried her eyes out inside. After she was helped up, the Socialite clung onto Chen Guan Chao and wept, “She’s too much, too much……”
Chen Guan Chao patted her back, suddenly his eyes sparkled. “Ah! I just got inspired.”
Upon saying that, just like the parasol before, he tossed the Socialite to someone beside him, then rushed over to the table in the room. He switched on the table lamp, took out some pen and paper and started to write at a tremendous speed.
The crowd looked at each other. It was not just them, even the Socialite didn’t know how to react at the moment. Should she continue to cry, or save some energy and cry later? Finally someone coughed and asked, “Young Master Chen, what do we do next?”
“Didn’t I already say cut?” Chen Guan Chao answered impatiently without looking up, “How many times do I need to say it? Cut! Cut! Cut!! Alright you guys can leave, oh right…”
He suddenly turned his head and pointed at Ning Ning and Ning Yu Ren with the fountain pen in his hand, “The two of you stay behind. I have another new inspiration, I am about to finish the scene I’m writing. The three of us will rehearse it later. “
The Socialite was unwilling to leave just like this. She snuggled up close to Chen Guan Chao and grabbed his arm. In the end, Chen Guan Chao turned around and let out a long roar, “Ahhhhh! Quiet down!! Do not interrupt my thoughts!! Disappear for the time being for one two three four five six seven eight hours. Ahhh!!”
The Socialite had finally been chased away. He also began to furiously write while ignoring the people around him. Half an hour later, Ning Yu Ren looked at him awkwardly then looked at Ning Ning then reluctantly started a conversation, “You acted really well just now, you were like the real Phantom. I was scared.”
“That wasn’t the Phantom.” Ning Ning suddenly said. She clenched her fist tightly, sweat rolling down her cheeks, “That was not the Phantom at all……”
Just like the name of the scene—<<The Ghost’s Victory>>, this was neither her victory nor the Phantom’s victory. This was only Qu Ning’er’s victory!
What was even scarier was that, this victory had made Qu Ning’er even stronger. She was close to losing control!
It was precisely at this juncture that Chen Guan Chao suddenly shouted, “I’m done writing!”
He laughed heartily at the sky, then handed the script over to Ning Ning and Ning Yu Ren as if it was a treasure and laughed, “Look look! My thoughts that flowed like pee……bah, that’s wrong. I mean my thoughts that flowed like tsunamis and avalanches produced this!”
Ning Ning skimmed through the content and her heart sank.
The title for this scene was —<<Murder>>.
Lu Yun He and the Phantom had a big fight because the Wealthy Lady was hurt. The contradictory views of the two of them had finally become irreconcilable. Lu Yun He ran out of patience and finally proposed to break up with the Phantom. The Phantom, not being able to save this relationship, decided to kill Lu Yun He.
“If I can’t have your heart, I can at least have your corpse.” Ning Ning softly read the line.
“Actually this ending is also not bad, isn’t it?” Chen Guan Chao lit a cigarette, put it in his mouth then smiled at her. “After all, love is the desire to monopolise .”
Ning Ning looked up at him in surprise, “… What do you think the ending of this love is?”
“Isn’t it clear enough in the script?” Chen Guan Chao pointed at the script with the cigarette in his hand, smiled at Ning Ning and said, “The ending of this love is, destruction!”
The two of them looked at each other for a long time. It was so long that Chen Guan Chao touched his face, “What is it? Have you fallen for me? I have a girlfriend, oh, but I am recently starting to not be able to stand her…”
Ning Ning shook her head with a smile and thought, you really were a fake.
The real Director Chen would not say something like this. If true love was monopolisation and the ending of love was destruction, then she would have passed the audition long ago. She wouldn’t even appear here!
Ning Ning closed her eyes for a moment before opening them, “I cannot act in this scene.”
Chen Guan Chao was stunned. “Why?”
‘Because I’m about to lose control.’ Was what Ning Ning thought. But she did not want to tell him the truth, so she turned around and looked at Ning Yu Ren. “She is also the Phantom, let her do it.”
Chen Guan Chao looked at Ning Yu Ren as if he was smiling. He didn’t know what the Director saw in this country bumpkin, he also didn’t think there was any ‘outstanding merit’ on her. The only reason he let her stay, gave her chances to share the stage with Ning Ning, was so that she could see the difference between her and Ning Ning, back out early and stop wasting everyone’s time.
The scene <<Murder>> was not only portraying the murder of Lu Yun He at the hands of the Phantom, it would also be his murder of Ning Yu Ren’s acting career.
“That will do too.” He threw the cigarette from his mouth to the ground and stepped on it. He smiled and said, “Then let’s do it.”
<<Murder>> thus began.
Ning Ning leaned on the wall and looked to the side with indifference. She wasn’t a rookie, she had been in the show business for quite a number of years. Although she didn’t have much accomplishments, she had seen the ugly side of things, that was why the more she watched the angrier she got — Director Chen why do you do this! Your fake in this movie is also doing this!
As a rookie who was still going through speech correction lessons, Ning Yu Ren felt inferior most of the time, especially because her role was the female lead. Although she was the reserve, a lot of people would talk behind her back. It would have been fine if she had excellent acting skills, but the problem was that she didn’t, so the gossip got worse. Beside the Director, no one else in this movie thought well of her.
“You really want to pick,.. pick her?” Ning Yu Ren stammered a little, “How is she better than me?”
“She is better in every way.” Chen Guan Chao gazed at her deeply. He was very eccentric. For the sake of putting down someone, he actually temporarily stopped trying to be dashing and acted quite decently.
“It, it…” Ning Yu Ren suddenly forgot her lines. She hastily looked down at the script. She was about to continue with her lines, but Chen Guan Chao had snatched her lines from her, “Is it because she’s prettier than you? No, I won’t love an empty husk of a body, nor will I hate a scarred soul.”
When two people were acting in a scene, the audience would focus more on the actor who was delivering the lines. If one actor had more lines the other would have less, and they would slowly fade into the background.
Although Ning Yu Ren worked very hard, the lines that belonged to her were taken from her one by one. However, she could not even criticise the other party, because from her rookie point of view, this was all because she had forgotten her lines. The other party was helping her out of the kindness of his heart.
In the end, besides a few other low impact lines, she was only left with one sentence from the entire scene.
“If I can’t have your heart, I can at least have your corpse.”
As Ning Yu Ren finished this sentence, when she was about to raise her hands to strangle his neck, she shivered and lowered her head to discover that Chen Guan Chao was already holding both her hands, slowly bringing them to his neck. He looked at her with an extremely complicated expression.
It looked like he hated everything she did but was also grateful for everything she did for him. He pitied her miserable experience in life, but at the same time, this pity caused him to not be able to give her deep love. All of this eventually became a drop of tear, rolling down his cheek, as if it was telling her, “Kill me, this way both of us will be set free.”
Ning Yu Ren stared blankly at the tear on his cheek, until a hand reached out on the side and placed itself on Chen Guan Chao’s hand. She turned around and saw Ning Ning standing beside them, coldly looking at Chen Guan Chao, “It’s my turn.”
<<Murder>>, take two.
Ning Yu Ren retreated back to the wall in a sorry state. She seized the opportunity to quickly wipe her tears as she lowered her head.
“Why is there such a gulf between people?” She thought sadly as she looked at Ning Ning.
They were both clearly rookies with no acting experience, Ning Ning was even a little younger than her. But not only did she not have any deficiencies in her pronunciation, she had also never made any mistakes a rookie would. In Ning Yu Ren’s eyes, the other party was simply perfect, she was a natural born actress.
The scariest and most respectable part was the amount of hard work she put in for the sake of acting.
“Do you have force yourself into this state just for the sake of portraying a character?” Ning Yu Ren thought, “For the sake of being a bit more like the Phantom, sleeping in a coffin, eating cold food, taking cold showers, not interacting with people, hiding in a dark cellar everyday… Can I do all these? Do I really need to do so much for the sake of one role? After making this much effort, will I be able to be just like her…a monster?”
Ning Yu Ren was still racking her brains when she suddenly heard painful sounds of a struggle. She looked up, her face turned pale from fright and screamed, “What are you doing??”
Ning Ning looked up at her and smiled. A smile that had childlike innocence and cruelty, like a child crushing ants with her fingers. As she smiled, she continued to mount on Chen Guan Chao’s waist, lowered her head and strangled him.
Ning Yu Ren trembled.
That indifference was not an act at all.
It was real… A murder.