Princess Ling Shan
April 1990, Cast of <<The Person Within the Painting>>
“Come, come, come. Let’s get to know each another. I am the actor for Mad Taoist Priest, Chen Nuo. Nice to meet you, nice to meet you!”
“Come on, who doesn’t know you? The Taoist priest specialist.”
“I am Li1 Shu, acting as the father of the lead character. Sigh, I’m a little excited to be treated as a father by someone for the first time.”
“Hi everyone, I am the actress for Princess Ling Shan, Ning Yu Ren.”
“Hi everyone, I am the actress for Princess Ling Shan, You Ling.”
The two of them were stunned at the same time as they finished introducing themselves, they slowly turned their heads and looked at each other.
…This is a bit too awkward dameow2 it…
After that, even though everyone laughed, the way they looked at the two had changed. No one thought that what You Ling said was an accident, there were no accidents in the adult world! Especially in the entertainment industry, every ‘accident’ was thought through! It was for the sake of achieving a motive!
Even Director Shi thought so. Once the meeting ended, he spoke to You Ling alone. Seemingly smiling, he said, “That was not something to joke about, you would make everyone feel awkward this way.”
You Ling, or you should say, Ning Ning who transmigrated as You Ling, forced out a bitter smile.
She was not joking! She really thought she was Princess Ling Shan!
At least in the movie that was filmed, she was Princess Ling Shan!
But now everyone thought she was a biatch who deliberately planned to snatch a role!
“Director Shi.” Now that it had come to this, Ning Ning could only say with a bold face, “Actually I really think…Ning Yu Ren and I should switch roles. She is more suited for the role of Yan Hong Xiu.”
Although Princess Ling Shan was the leading female role, although everyone thought that she was trying to snatch the role from Mama now, Ning Ning knew that Yan Hong Xiu was the biggest winner of the movie in the end!
After <<The Person within the Painting>> was released, the results proved the point—out of the many roles in the movie, everyone only noticed Yan Hong Xiu, they could only look at Yan Hong Xiu! Under the brilliance she displayed, every role—including the lead female role—faded into the background and was forgotten!
“So you really want to snatch this role.” Director Shi.
“…” Let’s leave it at that!
Ning Ning now felt like she was scorched by flames. Before she transmigrated, she had never thought that she would end up in such a situation. The information she had on hand and the different gossip forums had never mentioned that Mama’s first role in <<The Person Within the Painting>> was actually Princess Ling Shan?
What exactly happened in the end? What was she supposed to do to make the Director switch their roles in order to let history repeat itself?
“Actually, I have considered this before.” Director Shi said, “You are definitely a little more suitable for Princess Ling Shan in terms of looks, but she is a little more suitable based on acting skills.”
Director Chen pondered for a moment, then he suddenly smiled. “We’ll do it this way, the two of you can compete…Little Chen!”
A young man located not far away heard him and responded, he walked towards the two of them.
Ning Ning looked at the figure approaching them. As she looked at his familiar face, a thought flashed across her mind-—Director Chen, why are you everywhere!
“This is Chen Guan Chao, a very talented young man. He is currently learning how to direct from me.” Director Shi introduced him to Ning Ning, then told Chen Guan Chao, “You wrote the script, do you still remember the lines? Come help rehearse, temporarily take the role of the male lead.”
Chen Guan Chao nodded, calm and composed. “Alright, which scene?”
<<The Person Within the Painting>> was an ancient fantasy romance story.
At the start of the movie, prison wagons were lined up. Authoritative officials had succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy, they transported the imperial family to the market for execution, including Princess Ling Shan.
Li Zhong Tang had been head over heels in love with Princess Ling Shan for many years. After he failed to rescue Princess Ling Shan, he risked his life to buy a lock of Princess Ling Shan’s hair from the Executioner. He made a brush using the hair with the help of a mad taoist priest.
After that, as if he was a madman, he drew paintings of Princess Ling Shan day and night using this brush, until one day, the person within the painting walked out…
Having his only son infatuated with the person within the painting to the point where he was emaciated and had abandoned his career, , Father Li bought the daughter of a rotten gambler—a stunning girl named Yan Hong Xiu—under the suggestion of the people around him. He told her that she had two paths in front of her, she either seduced Li Zhong Tang or got sold to the brothel.
Yan Hong Xiu had no other choice, she could only fight for Li Zhong Tang against Princess Ling Shan.
The scene they were about to act was one of the most significant scenes—(the scene where) the person within the painting walked out!
“This scene would not be shown to outsiders.” Director Shi led them to an empty room. The set within the room was done halfway, it looked vaguely like a study with paper and inkstones on the table, flutes and paintings on the wall. Director Shi asked, “How much time do the two of you need? Who will go first?”
Ning Ning hesitated to speak, she could not go first, she had just received the script, she had not even gone over her lines.
Ning Yu Ren shot a glance at Ning Ning, then turned her sights on Director Shi and simply said, “I’ll do it.”
Her voice and attitude were very cold. Ning Ning initially thought that she was not happy with her ‘role snatching’. It was only after Ning Yu Ren got on the stage where Ning Ning slowly realised that something was not right.
Chen Guan Chao circled behind the desk. He randomly picked a brush from the brush rack, then dipped it on an empty inkstone before returning to the paper. The change in him from 1987 to 1990 was very drastic. He had a far more stable temperament (now), he reminded Ning Ning more and more of a person—Chen Jun Yan.
But Ning Ning’s attention was not on him, she was too preoccupied watching Ning Yu Ren. Mama, what are you intending to do next? What kind of Princess Ling Shan will you show us?
Ning Yu Ren slowly walked past the bookshelf. All of a sudden, she waved her hand and swept all the books off the bookshelf.
Chen Guan Chao furrowed his brows and took a look behind him, “What’s going on?”
He put down his brush and walked towards the bookshelf, bent over and picked up the books on the floor one by one. His hand that was picking a book up froze abruptly, he slowly turned around and looked down.
A woman was lying on his table, to be more precise, a woman was lying on his drawing paper.
The woman casually shrugged her shoulders, she was slowly crawling on the drawing paper like a snake that was molting. Her movements were getting bigger by the minute, until she finally rolled off from the tiny table.
“…You!” Chen Guan Chao tightly gripped the book in his hand, looking quite nervous.
She quickly got up from the ground. Although she was standing up, her very long hair was still drooping from her face to the ground, slightly swaying like a weeping willow by the lake at night.
“You are…” Chen Guan Chao suddenly took a step towards her. Not only was he not afraid, morbid ecstasy was showing on his face instead. It was as if he had finally found the person he coveted after he had searched for her countless times in his dreams.
She slowly raised her hand and parted her hair to reveal a side of her face, then silently smiled at him.
The same movement, the same bearing, the same smile… Ning Ning had seen them before.
“Very scary, but very charismatic right?” Director Shi whispered to Ning Ning from her side, “The audience’s attention would be captured with one look.”
“Of course…”Ning Ning mumbled. This was the Phantom, Ning Yu Ren was not acting as Princess Ling Shan at all. She had skillfully imitated the Phantom that Ning Ning had once acted as.
The scene finished shortly. Once it ended, Chen Guan Chao had a 180-degree change in attitude. He chased after Ning Yu Ren like a playboy, he stuttered a little out of excitement, ”What, what is your name? Do you want to act in my movie after you are done with this one? Let me introduce myself, my name is Chen Guan Chao…”
Ning Yu Ren was shocked for a moment, then she silently lowered her head and walked to the Director’s side. She asked him in a low voice, “Director, was that okay?”
“Yes, that was good.” Director Shi turned over and asked Ning Ning, “Do you still want to try?”
Ning Ning felt bitter in her mouth.
She could also act as the Phantom. The problem was that Mama had already done it first, so no matter how she acted, it would look like she was just imitating Mama. She also asked herself, can she act better than Mama? She could not, because Mama had imitated her to a tee. She was acting as Ning Ning, how could Ning Ning surpass herself?
Director Shi was a good person, he patted Ning Ning on the shoulder and helped her save some dignity. “Let’s quickly go for dinner, we’ll stop here for today, we’ll talk about the rest on another day.”
“…Then I will make a move first.” Ning Yu Ren said gloomily. Not only did she act like Ning Ning of the past, her habits outside of acting were also like Ning Ning of the past. Ning Ning felt a little suspicious as to whether Ning Yu Ren was currently sleeping in a coffin, eating cold meals, taking cold showers…
Director Shi patted Ning Ning’s shoulder again. He was the first to leave, Ning Yu Ren was next, closely followed by a fanatical fanboy. “Consider it. I’m telling you, my <<Phantom of the Theater>>…”
Ning Ning stayed in the room alone feeling a little lost.
She had finally understood the meaning of “don’t get too close to the lead character…”
To the movie theater, to the people in the movie, she was like a rock. This rock created a ripple when she was tossed in, firstly influencing the people around her, then influencing the people a little further away from her. She initially thought that she had only influenced Wen Yu, but from the looks of things now, she had created a bigger influence than she had imagined.
The future, how would it change?
Ning Ning sighed. She turned around and discovered that someone was standing behind her.
He was leaning on the wall while smiling at her. Although he had not said a word, he was already flirting with her with his eyes. This person was the male lead of the current movie, Shi Zhong Tang.
Ning Ning did not know how long he had been there, she also did not know how long he had been watching. But to conform with the theory of “the lead character is poisonous, stay away as much as possible”, she smiled at him out of courtesy and attempted to walk out of the door.
In the end, he abruptly took a step to his side and bumped into her with his chest, then shouted in an exaggerated manner as he fell to the floor. He grabbed his head with one hand and said to her with a smile, “I fell down, I can only get up with a kiss.”
…Traffic accident fraud3 your meowther4!!
“Wait here, I will get Director Shi over to give you CPR!” Ning Ning answered unfeelingly. Before she could take two steps, his lazy voice rang out from behind her, “If I was the male lead, I would not act like an idiot for that Princess Ling Shan from before.”
Ning Ning was shocked, she turned over and looked at him.
He was still lying on the floor in a carefree manner, supporting his head with one hand and beckoned to her with the other.
Ning Ning hesitated for a while before making her way over reluctantly. She squatted down beside him and asked, “What do you mean?”
Shi Zhong Tang looked at her with a smile. He gently pointed to his cheek motioning for a kiss.
“I have no more questions, I am leaving.” Ning Ning rolled her eyes and attempted to leave, but a hand suddenly reached out in front of her.
Shi Zhong Tang who had seemed lazy and drunk sat up agilely, his finger twirled a lock of Ning Ning’s hair. He brought it to his lips and gave it a kiss. He looked good, his smile looked good, the way he smiled as he twirled her hair looked good. It had no hint of frivolity, it looked like the smile of an understanding ancient knight instead. He told her, “Alright, I will teach you.”
1This is a different Li(黎) compared to the ones we have met thus far(李).
2,4This is a Chinese way to swear in a less uncouth way, by replacing a part of the phrase with meow.
3She is referring to a fraud where scammers feign injury in traffic accidents in order to extort money from drivers.
TN: We have decided to release a bonus chapter this Sunday, we hope you guys look forward to it =).