Unstable Chinese Republic (Arc 2.3) auroranovels.wordpress.com
Fairview Park released the news that on the evening of the 17th of the month, the first 60 people coming to watch opera would be able to enter free of charge, and would also receive complimentary tea, desserts, melon seeds, and fruit.
During this era the night life originally wasn’t that varied, ordinary people of the lowest status didn’t have much spare money to listen to opera. Those who did have the money naturally were more willing to choose the better troupes to support.
These three words “free of charge”, no matter in which era, would always have enormous appeal, plus refreshments and tea could also be complimentary. Besides those people who usually don’t have the spare money to listen to opera and thus came very early to get in line, there were also some whose families did have some spare money but who naturally liked taking advantage of these types of opportunities who also came to wait at the entrance.
These were all requirements that Jing Yang had proposed, all the expenses that the troupe incurred on the evening of the 17th, he would pay for. Wu troupe master was originally somewhat hesitant. Once they said it would be free of charge, the amount of people who came would definitely not be small, but the more people who came to listen to Cheng young master’s opera, their troupe’s reputation would suffer a greater injury.
Jing Yang repeatedly guaranteed to him, if this time he sang badly, he would definitely not sing a second time. Wu troupe master also bit his teeth and agreed.
For the time being Jing Yang didn’t want to let other people know he had come to sing opera, so Wu troupe master especially prepared a concealed room for him to change and do his makeup. In the entire Wu family troupe, besides Wu troupe leader, not a second person knew Jing Yang was going to come sing opera.
“I can come help you put on makeup.” Wu troupe master said.
“No need, it’ll be fine if I just put it on myself.” Jing Yang declined. “You can first go do your work, you can just come let me know when it gets closer to when I have to go on stage.”
Wu troupe master’s mood was extremely uneasy, but it had already gotten to this stage, so he could only listen to everything Jing Yang said.
After many years, Fairview Park finally had a full house, it was just that these people did not really come for the Wu family troupe. Wu troupe master didn’t know whether he should be happy or uncomfortable, after tonight, he was afraid it would be even harder to have so many people come again.
Jing Yang faced the mirror and started putting on his makeup. Today he was going to be singing The Drunken Beauty, this was one of Wei Tianxiong’s favorite operas. With the help of the system, he would be able to display this opera to the pinnacle, he didn’t believe that he wouldn’t be able to attract Wei Tianxiong.
After the warm up was over, Wu troupe master came over to invite Jing Yang. “Cheng young master, you’ll need to go on stage soon.”
“In the future Wu troupe master should address me as Jun shao ba, if other people heard you call me Cheng young master, that would expose my identity in advance.” The already made up Jing Yang stood up and turned around to look at Wu troupe master.
Wu troupe master froze when he saw Jing Yang, this kind of coquettish appearance could definitely be considered worthy of the phrase capable of causing the downfall of a country, he was afraid that even the real Yang Guifei did not have such a stunning mien.
Wu troupe master had no way to associate this person in front of him with the gentle and elegant Cheng young master. He had sung so many years of opera, and seen so many years of other people’s opera, he had seen every famous singer’s opera, but this was the first time he had seen such an outstanding appearance.
“Wu troupe master?” Jing Yang saw that Wu troupe master had completely frozen and didn’t respond to him, so he called out to him.
Wu troupe master came back to himself, and vaguely recalled that Jing Yang seemed to have said something earlier. “What did you say just now?”
Jing Yang repeated that he should call him Jun shao, Wu troupe master agreed and brought Jing Yang toward the stage. When they were passing through the backstage area, Wu troupe master’s disciples all came over to surround them, their gazes when they saw Jing Yang were full of astonishment.
After Jing Yang went onstage, some disciples curiously asked Wu troupe master, “Master, who was that ah?”
Wu troupe master looked displeased. “Don’t ask about things you shouldn’t ask about.”
The audience area was much livelier than onstage, besides concentrating on eating melon seeds and refreshments, the audience members were also talking and chatting loudly and arrogantly. Even when Jing Yang had already gone on stage, very few people noticed.
When Jing Yang had just opened his mouth and sung the first sentence, the audience instantly became quiet, all eyes were finally concentrated on stage.
The Drunken Beauty, this opera expressed Yang Guifei’s thoughts and yearning for love after drinking, and through graceful singing and dancing, it would painstakingly reveal layer by layer Yang Guifei’s hopes and anticipation, disappointment, desolation, and resentment.
This opera had a lot of dancing, including Xianbei, crouching fish (wo yu), drunken steps (zui bu), and the fan dance, the difficulty was very high. Originally Jing Yang had learned dancing over several worlds, but in order to display the appearance of an opera singer, he needed to use the help of the system to control his current body.
The audience below stage were watching as if they were intoxicated, those mellow and flowing vocals, that smooth, sweet, and clear voice, flowed into their ears, making them drunk. Their entire surroundings seemed to have disappeared, at this moment they seemed to have found themselves in the imperial palace courtyard, they could see the devastatingly beautiful imperial consort, who had gotten drunk to give vent to her heart’s depression when the emperor hadn’t come to visit her.
From Jing Yang’s appearance to his singing as well as his figure, he portrayed the progression from helplessly tipsy to deeply intoxicated, making the audience also become fascinated while watching. They resented the emperor along with the person on stage, why would you abandon such a charming beautiful person to be alone, and didn’t come to properly comfort her.
Wu troupe master and his disciples backstage also were dumbfounded when listening, each one of them couldn’t resist looking through the crack in the curtain to the stage.
When Jing Yang had stopped singing and withdrawn from the stage, the audience beneath the stage was still immersed in their intoxication and hadn’t been able to come back from their daze. Wu troupe master prohibited his disciples from following him over, and returned together with Jing Yang to the room he had prepared.
“Cheng…, no, Jun shao.” Wu troupe master controlled his excited emotions. “May I ask who Jun shao’s teacher is? When did you start learning how to sing? You actually had such profound accomplishments.”
Jing Yang rapidly started removing his stage makeup and responded. “It is not convenient for me to reveal the answers to those questions to you, you only need to remember the words I said to you before. Don’t ask too much about the rest.”
“…Yes.” Wu troupe master had gone through a rollercoaster of emotions today, now he was finally somewhat calmer, but he couldn’t help quickly asking, “Then are you going to come sing tomorrow?”
“I will temporarily not be coming tomorrow. We will first wait a few days, and when I do want to come sing, I will send people to come let you know first.”
After Jing Yang finished removing all of his makeup, he walked behind the curtain to change. He put on a round hat and pulled down the brim. From the small alley on the side, he quietly left.
After this night, the news that Fairview Park’s Wu family troupe had invited a famous singer spread widely throughout Li city. The people who had listened to that opera on that night, not a single one didn’t say good things about it. Plus the people who had earlier heard Cheng Jiaming sing said that the Drunken Beauty that person from Fairview Park sang was even better than how Cheng Jiaming from Ya Garden had sung it. But once they asked about who in the end that famous singer was, everyone shook their heads to express that they didn’t know.
This matter was extremely skillfully propagated throughout Li city. Some people said that after listening to that play, for several consecutive nights, even in their dreams they dreamt that they were still listening to that opera, as if that voice and singing was still in their ear. Even if they had to sacrifice everything they had, they would still want to go listen to it again. But what was strange was that these days Fairview Park suddenly stopped opening.
For these rumors, many people all didn’t believe them, they felt that the people who had spread these words definitely had received benefits from the Wu family troupe and thus would say good things everywhere.
They even said that that person sang better than Cheng boss, if that were really true, how could there be no movement for several consecutive days?
There were some people who had quicker tempers who saw that no one would believe them no matter what they said, and then swore to the heavens that if Fairview Park opened again, you all should go listen, if they didn’t sing as well as Cheng boss, then I will remove my head and give it to you.
For those words that were circulating outside, Jing Yang naturally was aware, this was exactly the result that he wanted. He waited several days at home, and when he felt that the time was about right, Jing Yang let the housekeeper covertly notify Wu troupe master that he would go sing opera in two days. He told him to prepare a little in advance, he could also make suitable propaganda.
“Young master, this matter of you singing opera has already caused an uproar outside, if someone finds out that it is you, it wouldn’t be good for you or the Cheng family’s reputation ah.” The housekeeper couldn’t resist advising, this matter of his family’s young master going to sing opera, for the time being only he knew in the entire Cheng family. The housekeeper didn’t know what the reason was for the young master doing this, but he was still concerned for him.
“Zhang uncle, now is already no longer the same as the past, singing opera has long not been some contemptible career. After some more years, opera will become known as an art, many people pursue and value it. Even if other people find out that I went to sing opera, that’s not a problem, in any case I don’t want to conceal it for that long, sooner or later other people will know.”
“But, in the end why are you doing this ah?” The housekeeper didn’t understand what this art he mentioned was. From how he saw it, he was a young master of a big family, there was no need for him to sing opera to try to please other people.
“Right now I can’t tell you the reason, but in the future you naturally will understand, leave ba…”
Jing Yang didn’t want to make extra explanations, the housekeeper also didn’t keep asking. He sighed and left.
Once Wu troupe master heard that Jing Yang wanted to come perform again, he was unable to contain his joy. These days he had been worrying, earlier he was worried that Cheng young master wouldn’t be able to sing well and would damage the Wu family troupe’s reputation. But the result was that he sang too well, it went against his expectations too much, and instead made him even more worried. He was afraid that when the people who came to Fairview Park to listen to opera weren’t able to hear Cheng young master’s performance, they would create a disturbance and smash up the venue, this made him not dare to even open the park.
There were not a few people who came to ask Wu troupe master who had performed that night, they were all evaded perfunctorily by Wu troupe master saying that even he himself didn’t know. And now Jing Yang was going to come to Fairview Park again, Wu troupe master also couldn’t directly say out that the Cheng young master was going to come perform opera, so he could only announce to the public that the park would have performances the day after tomorrow.
Some people came over to ask, they found out it was still the Jun boss who had sung the Drunken Beauty, and immediately many people came to reserve seats. Because this time they had to pay for admission, and the price was quite high, the majority of people who had come were wealthy people who had not come earlier. They were very curious about whether in the end this Jun boss’s opera was truly as good as those rumors outside claimed. After all, they had never heard of this person before.
Jing Yang did the same thing as last time, he waited until the sky gradually turned dark, and covertly entered Fairview Park from a side door. Together with the Wu troupe master who was waiting at the side door, they went into that especially prepared room for him.
“Wu troupe master’s mood today seems pretty good?” Jing Yang saw the cheerful expression on Wu troupe master’s face.
“Ever since that day Jun shao sent people to notify me that you were going to come perform, I have been quite happy.” Wu troupe master smiled with some embarrassment. “It’s really been too long not having this many people especially running to our opera troupe, please don’t make fun of me.”
“I can understand your mood, but I will want to remind you, I won’t constantly keep singing here. It’s possible that after singing a few times, I will no longer come again. You need to make proper psychological preparation.” Singing opera was really not his interest, and was also not Cheng Junxi’s interest, it was only one of his methods. After he had completed his vengeance, he would probably not continue singing.
“This I am clear about, as long as Jun shao comes over out of interest, or when you have nothing to do and come out to sing, I would be very satisfied.” Wu troupe master said. “It’s also not a problem if you don’t come, in the future with Jun shao’s subsidies, I will definitely be able to revive Wu family troupe.”
Jing Yang smiled. “It’s good that you’re able to think this way.”
Translator Notes: auroranovels.wordpress.com
 The Drunken Beauty – 贵妃醉酒, apparently a Qing Dynasty Beijing opera
 capable of causing the downfall of a country – 倾国倾城, idiom, means devastatingly beautiful
 Yang Guifei – 杨贵妃, famous Tang beauty, consort of the emperor, blamed for extravagance, also the protagonist of the Drunken Beauty opera
 衔杯、卧鱼、醉步、扇舞 – honestly I have no idea how to translate any of these except for fan dance, that’s definitely right. google and mdbg is not helpful for these extremely cultural terms. Actually, I just looked up Xianbei and read a literal published paper about Xianbei being something like Mongols. Please please let me know if you know the meaning of any of these terms and I’ll fix the literal translations…
 as if they were intoxicated – 如痴如醉, idiom, literally means as if they were drunk and stupefied
 couldn’t help quickly – 迫不及待, idiom, literally means impatient or in a hurry
 extremely skillfully – 神乎其神, idiom, means brilliant or virtuosic
 sacrifice everything they had – 砸锅卖铁, idiom, willing to sacrifice everything
 caused an uproar – 沸沸扬扬, really means bubbling and gurgling/abuzz, but this seemed more relevant
 unable to contain his joy – 喜不自禁, idiom
Random Notes: auroranovels.wordpress.com
Ughhh I knew I would get annoyed with some cultural Chinese terms. It’s just so hard to translate those, you know? If it were easier to find a good source for translating those types of specialty terms to English, my life would be a lot easier. Still, wasn’t terrible. Almost two hours, 5:15 pm – 7 pm, for 3.3k characters to 2.8k words.
Hmm it seems like it’s been too long since I’ve last translated/typed out long pieces of writing. I type quite forcefully and quickly, so my fingers were getting a little sore. Guess I need to step up my game.