Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 81: Saving the Day
Just as the group of them were discussing the issue, a crew member suddenly brought them news on Wu Ge – she had sustained a meniscus tear, and it would be fairly impossible to heal from such an injury within such a short time frame.
This meant that she could only temporarily retreat from the program filming, and if it did not look good for the future, she most likely would have to bid farewell to the stage.
As dancers, their bodies were their means of work.
What a meniscus tear injury meant, everyone knew.
And so the moment they heard that, the atmosphere immediately plunged into silence.
They pitied Wu Ge, but they were also pitying Zhang Deng Ting.
Tong Lao-shi just lost two of her top contestants, and she couldn’t help but sigh deeply and close her eyes, rubbing her forehead with force.
Zhang Duo, however, was gleeful at this turnout and looked around, seemingly looking as if he was planning something.
He suddenly and coldly said to the PD,
“We can actually use an outsider for help.
I remember last season, Zhang Bei Ni partnered with Tao Yuan for a dance program?”
Zhang Bei Ni was last season’s special panel judge and Tao Yuan was one of the skilled contestants who the audience favoured.
But then it turned out that his partner had plagiarized a well known dancer for his preliminary round and was thus disqualified.
Zhang Bei Ni saved the show by creating a program with Tao Yuan and in the end, both of them took second place together.
Even now, their win was still being discussed by the netizens with awe.
Zhang Duo finally said what he had planned,
“I think Chen Yi should go up and dance.”
Chen Yi raised his eyebrows,
“Dance what? Zumba or aerobics?”1
Zhang Duo: “……”
The PD naturally knew that he could ask for help from outside the contestant pool, and their special judge position was prepared for such a situation.
Hence, all the celebrities they invited besides being high in popularity were individuals who could dance too.
But the biggest problem was that……
Chen Yi, he can’t dance!!!!!!
The PD was already regretting his decision in agreeing to change the celebrity on the request of GE.
They didn’t even leech off any of his fame and instead spilled the glass of milk they had on the table!
The regret on the director’s face was so obvious that anyone could have understood upon seeing it.
Zhang Duo’s mood was so immensely improved that he started shaking the leg that was resting on his knee.
He mockingly looked at Chen Yi but Chen Yi only yawned in boredom and turned his head away.
Yet the moment he did so, the expectant and hopeful eyes of Zhang Deng Ting met up with his.
Like a flickering flame in the dark night sky, it was so weak and feeble that a tiny breeze could stamp it out.
The prime period for a dancer was too short.
At forty to fifty years of age, Tong Lao-shi and Ying Zi Lao-shi already had to retire from the stage.
They had worked their bodies hard since their youth and since then damaged their bodies harshly, and the moment their age caught up, a bunch of health issues came up as well.
When Ying Zi Lao-shi leaves his house, he must use a cane, and when it’s gloomy and rainy, he does not even dare to head out.
Sometimes life was filled with melodramatic elements.
Originally Deng Zhang Ting had a bright future and seemed to be bursting with success after she worked so hard in her dance group.
Yet then she sustained an injury and had to drop out.
Now when she wanted to come back to the stage, no one remembered her.
And so she was forced to join such a program and now look at what happened.
She was already thirty this year.
Chen Yi paused, and then he twisted open a bottle of water and drank some to wet his throat,
“What kind of program are you thinking of for the finals?”
This was to ask Deng Zhang Ting.
The latter’s heart burst with joy and quickly said,
“Wu Ge and I were planning to dance a classical sword dance, named << Rushed Rain >>.
If Chen Lao-shi, you are willing to become partners with me, the style of dance can be changed.
I’ll take up the main dancing, with all due respect, you just need to assist me in some movements, and it would not be too much trouble for you.”
The PD team only gave a week’s time for the contestants to prepare their program and Wu Ge and Deng Zhang Ting were this year’s hot commodity.
They could be said to be like hammered nails on a board2, stamped to be the dark horse of the finals.
The PD must have privately let them know as well, as otherwise they would not have already thought about the program for next week’s final.
Chen Yi could not dance, but his flexibility and reflexes were not bad and his adaptability could make it possible.
Even though he was pushed into something he was not well versed in, he could learn some idiot-proof movements to forcefully be considered passable.
When he heard “sword dance”, his eyes narrowed as he said,
“Me as your partner is possible, but first prepare yourself mentally, because I don’t know how to dance.”
To be partners with Chen Yi meant that she still had a fighting chance, as otherwise half a chance wouldn’t even be possible.
There was no doubt which option Deng Zhang Ting would choose, and she immediately bowed towards him, filled with gratitude as she said,
“Thank you Chen Lao-shi!”
Zhang Duo almost laughed out loud.
Deng Zhang Ting was too desperate, taking anyone to be her savior.
Anyone else would be stronger than Chen Yi.
He used a hand to hold up his chin and to hide the malicious smile on his face.
He could already see the moment in the finals where Chen Yi would be roasted and chewed out to the bone by the netizens.
This happened during the filming session, but news about this event had already been spread all through the internet before it was even broadcasted.
Even more so, someone had spread that Chen Yi would be stepping up onto the stage to save a contestant, which made numerous threads pop up.
With the relationship reveal just a few days ago, more and more people were quitting the fan group, and the internet was filled with more and more terrible words.
>> Deng Zhang Ting is this year’s hottest commodity.
Could even be said to be the internally decided winner.
She must have had the worst past lives for her to achieve such bad luck to have met Chen Yi3.
It is now a question to even ask whether she will be able to get into the top three.
>> emmm Chen Yi learned for two months and he dares to step on the stage to “save the show”? Who gave him such courage? Does he really think he’s capable of this? What is he going to do up here? The seven sets of Elementary School Radio calisthenics? UGH!
>> I pity Deng Zhang Ting.
She’s obviously so talented and was the perfect pair with Wu Ge.
This program really dares to invite any kind of person just for fame.
The previous special judges had backgrounds in dance and if it was a different person, it wouldn’t be like this.
I can already guess the ending.
Chen Yi’s fans were going crazy at all of the accusations and they pushed up their sleeves ready to fight back.
What, saving the show in these years was a mistake now? It was not like Chen Yi himself wanted to.
If you had a problem, blame the program! If they had the ability, then don’t invite Chen Yi.
You want to leech off the fame and you want to pretend to be so high and mighty? Do you think you are the Emperor!
Just as the internet was blowing up, Chen Yi was not affected one bit.
He was instead focusing everything he had onto the dance program that the PD had provided and was practicing in the dance practice rooms while Fu Xiu Nian sat on one of the long benches in the rest area, watching him.
Deng Zhang Ting originally thought that Chen Yi had no rudimental basis for dancing, but she discovered that he was actually very stable in his stances.
When he was dancing with the sword, he had a lot of power and strength, even twice more than that of a professional dancer.
He could even bypass some of the high difficulty movements and because of this, she immediately threw away the original plan, spending an entire night to create a new dance program which the two of them practiced nonstop.
Their teamwork was actually pretty in sync and when Tong Lao-shi came once to check up on them, she couldn’t help but compliment them.
The only issue now was that Chen Yi’s movements were a bit too stiff, missing some gentleness.
His rhythm was a bit too fast which could not match perfectly with Deng Zhang Ting, and as Tong Lao-shi said, it was more like he was fighting than he was dancing.
“Really, you and Zhang Ting practicing to get to this point in such a short amount of time has already shocked me to the core.
I can say that there is a very big chance that you two can get into the top three.
But Chen Yi, this dance program still has a huge room for growth.”
“Your actions and your emotions are too tight.
Try and relax.
Relax your joints, relax your arms and your legs.
Try and find that softness within that coiled tightness.
You cannot lose that control, but the outer appearance and feeling is also very important.
I do very much look forward to the surprise you two can bring me tomorrow in the finals.”
Tong Lao-shi’s eyes were sharp and she could immediately tell with one look that Chen Yi was too tightly wound up.
But even as he kept practicing, he could not find that feeling she was talking about.
It was already late in the night and tomorrow would be the finals.
Chen Yi practiced over and over, sweating buckets by the load late into the deep fall of the night.
And at last, he sheathed his sword with a “qiang” and sat next to Fu Xiu Nian’s feet to rest.
Seeing the sweat dripping down his forehead, Fu Xiu Nian used a towel to help him wipe his face.
Chen Yi let him and even tilted up his head for easier access.
Right now, only his quick and short puffs of breath revealed the turmoil in his heart.
“Not feeling good?”
Fu Xiu Nian slid down from the chair to sit next to him on the floor.
It was only the two of them in the entire dance practice room, and so even a slight movement could create an echo.
Chen Yi didn’t reply and just slumped his body onto Fu Xiu Nian’s thighs.
He hid his face in Fu Xiu Nian’s stomach and reached out to hold him around his waist.
He didn’t move afterwards, as if he had fallen asleep.
Fu Xiu Nian’s long fingers stroked through Chen Yi’s hair and then brushed away the sweat laden bangs off his eyes, quietly sitting right next to him.
At this moment in time, the room only held the sounds of the two of them breathing.
And after a long while, when Fu Xiu Nian’s legs were going numb, Chen Yi finally moved and opened his eyes to look at him silently.He asked,
“Was my sword dance pretty bad?”
Fu Xiu Nian quickly shook his head, so hard that his hair seemed to be flying,
I think it’s really good.
The world’s best looking sword dance.”
“Who asked you if it was good looking or not.”
Chen Yi seemed a bit helpless and couldn’t hold in his words.
After a beat, he couldn’t help but say,
“…… When I was learning to use my sword, those who taught me back then said the same thing as Tong Lao-shi.”
The first time Chen Yi took up his sword, it was his father who taught him move by move.
Those days, he had been still competitive and hotblooded, wanting to prove that he was better than anyone else, and he learned the ways of the sword that usually would take at least a month within ten days.
He thought his father would praise him, but no, he only received a scolding that he was greedy.
And then afterwards, it was like a vicious cycle.
The more Chen Yi tried to practice his martial arts, the more vicious his father would scold him.
It came up to the point where the two of them became like roosters, fighting as soon as they saw each other.
It was as if they were not father and son, but like enemies filled with a blood grudge.
Fu Xiu Nian poked Chen Yi’s cheek and discovered that he didn’t really have any fat to poke at.
He said out loud,
“Hmm? Said what?”
Chen Yi naturally said,
“Said that I was too wound up in my heart, greedy to advance.”
His tone was a bit unwilling to compromise, a bit unwilling to accept.
At first there was no one in the clan who could win over Chen Yi and not a single one of their swords skills were better than his.
Chen Yi thought that his father was too picky, trying to find something from nothing.
Fu Xiu Nian smiled at that,
“I have had the same thing happen to me before.
I’ll let you know, when I was in fifth grade, I had already studied all the middle school textbooks and a teacher specifically said in class, a certain student should not place his eyes so high, and they need to come back to earth, take one slow step at a time.
If the basics are not mastered, that will be the end…….
blah blah blah and a lot of other things that I can’t really remember.”
Hearing this Chen Yi slightly raised his eyebrow,
“You’re not angry?”
The smile on Fu Xiu Nian’s face curved his eyes up,
“Why would I be angry? The knowledge is my own and I myself know that I learned it.
Isn’t that fine? What does it matter what she says?”
Chen Yi said,
“So you were already so heartless so young.”
Fu Xiu Nian was going to pinch his nose at that but Chen Yi quickly rolled his body over to avoid it.
Seeing him like this, Fu Xiu Nian stood up but as he had sat for too long like this, his legs were numb.
The moment he stood up, he fell right back down onto the ground.
Standing nearby Chen Yi hooked his fingers at him and looked at him provocatively,
“Come over here.
I’ll stand right here and let you beat me up.”
Who cared about that.
Fu Xiu Nian snorted and didn’t move.
Chen Yi could only walk over and reached a hand out in the air,
Let’s go home.”
Fu Xiu Nian angrily smacked his hand away,
Chen Yi gave him a look,
“Going or not?”
Fu Xiu Nian: “…… Going.”
He had always been so obedient with Chen Yi, and so there was no difference this time around; He very obediently grabbed Chen Yi’s hand and stood up.
Chen Yi embraced Fu Xiu Nian as he pulled him up and patted the dust off his back before the two of them put on their masks and hats and left the practice room.
When they got home, Fu Xiu Nian went into the kitchen to cook dinner.
Chen Yi was sitting on the sofa watching the tv and when he turned his head around, he could see his busy body.
Fu Xiu Nian said,
“What do you want to eat tonight?”
Chen Yi leaned over the sofa to watch him chop up the vegetables and curiously asked,
“You’ve already started cooking.
Isn’t it a bit too late to ask me now?”
Fu Xiu Nian apologetically smiled,
“I’m too used to asking it so it’s just a courtesy.”
Chen Yi was too lazy to care about it and returned his gaze towards the tv.
He was not very interested in dramas with the many melodramatic twists and turns for love, and instead he used his phone to connect to the tv and picked out << Crayon Shin-Chan >>.
Fu Xiu Nian was a bit speechless and said,
“Why don’t you watch Ultraman Tiga?”4
Chen Yi tsked,
“I like it.”
Fu Xiu Nian mixed up a cold dish and thought to himself that he really couldn’t figure out Chen Yi’s tastes.
He said out loud, talking to himself,
“And I thought you liked to watch action or fighting films.
Yet you just binge watch cartoons all day.
If this gets out, wouldn’t your image collapse?”
Chen Yi’s brain quickly parsed through unnecessary words and said,
“Action films? You act in it.
You act in it and I will watch it.”
Fu Xiu Nian paused in his movements as he suspected that Chen Yi was thinking dirty thoughts, but he had no evidence.
So he tossed the food onto a plate and as the congee was also heated up, Fu Xiu Nian said,
“I’m more suited for the artsy films.
You yourself should act in an action film.”
Chen Yi came over to plate the dishes,
“Action films have kiss scenes?”
Fu Xiu Nian said,
“Yes, there is.
With the ground.”
Chen Yi: “……”
These few days Fu Xiu Nian had watched Chen Yi and Deng Zhang Ting practice non stop and he didn’t know how he survived it.
If he doesn’t go, he would worry.
If he does go, he would feel so much pain at the hard work Chen Yi was putting in, and no matter which option he picked, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Thankfully tomorrow that blasted program will be finished, as otherwise Fu Xiu Nian would really blow up.
*1 Chen Yi really actually says two “dances” that elementary schoolers learn that, which in english is I think “Radio calisthenics” (kind of like yoga/aerobics where the instructors would call out a stance and the children will follow).
In this case, he references something that would be like “Young Eagle Takes Flight” and “7 Coloured Sunlight”.
You can see the dance movements, which are specific to the name: Eagle
*2 hammered nails on a board: This saying is kind of like the die has been cast, where it’s a statement of fact, something that was bound to happen and would happen in such a way, like hammered nails on a board – it’s “hammered in” already.
*3 It’s a common belief or saying that when someone has quite the bad luck, or a series of unfortunate events that caused a “downfall” for a person that they are called to have “culminated” bad luck from their previous lives, meaning that they were such a terrible person before they reincarnated into their current body/life and all the bad things they have done has caught up to them.
It’s almost the same thing around where you would see characters say I must have culminated all my luck in my previous lives to have met you kind of saying, where it’s saying I’ve used up all the luck from my previous lives that I either must have been a very unfortunate person who lived in misfortune/had terrible luck in certain things or the entire life, or they had been such a righteous/good person that their luck has culminated to the point of attaining their partner from this culmination from their past lives.
*4 Crayon Shin-Chan and Ultraman Tiga you may already know from childhood memories (whoopsies, did I spill my age there lol) but they are/were very popular as cartoons.
Based on their name, you can tell that it’s from Japan, but most of the cartoons in China are dubbed and it’s something almost every child is used to.
Crayon Shin-Chan is a bit of a crude cartoon (but hilarious in that way) of a child and his adventures as he goes through kindergarten.
Apparently the manga and the anime are very different, but as far as I know, it is still ongoing.
Ultraman Tiga, now that’s a memorable one, but it’s basically about being a superhero and it’s more of a live action thing rather than anime, like power rangers.
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