Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 82: Please I Beg of Your Highness to Tell Me Where You Learned This From
There was no need to go through rehearsals for the finals as instead, they would be immediately starting the official recording straight away in the afternoon.
Chen Yi was backstage getting his makeup done, after getting dressed in a tight outfit with markings like black inky, watery brush strokes, imitating some sort of ancient dynasty robe.
When he walked out of the dressing room, he seemed to be gliding, as if he was a sword master straight out of the history books.
Deng Zhang Ting was in the same kind of outfit, and the pair of them was like a perfect balance between gentleness and firmness, sparking a curiosity and anticipation of what dance program they would be performing for the audience.
The other few highly anticipated groups were all arranged to appear in the latter half of the show to increase the anticipation and hype.
A total of six groups for the entire night would perform, and after their performances, the judges would discuss who would be crowned a place in the top three.
Zhang Duo’s teams were close to his style of dance, limbs and movements grandiose and complicated to the eye but was really just tacky and had no substance.
Since this program had started airing, his teams had never been awarded a place in the top three even once.
And so, everyone’s eyes were on the partnered teams of Tong Lao-shi and Ying Zi Lao-shi.
The first and third group were a bit lacking and appeared a bit forced out of their depths, but the performance of the second team, consisting of Shao Jia Jia and Jin Qiu, << The Great Dunhuang >> won the audience’s favour as well as the eyes of the judges.
At this time, the fifth group was on stage and Chen Yi would be up next.
He stood backstage, staring through the sliver of an opening in the curtain towards the audience seats.
Fu Xiu Nian was sitting in the third row, right in the middle, wearing a mask to hide his face.
In his embrace was a huge LED light, where each stroke, each brush was of Chen Yi’s name.
From Fu Xiu Nian’s angle, he could not see the backstage, so he couldn’t see Chen Yi.
As Chen Yi looked upon him, the other seemed so very nervous and anxious, the fingers on his hands were unconsciously tapping furiously.
Chen Yi kept looking and looking and the more he stared, the more his heart somehow calmed down.
In his hands he held a long sword, about 110 cm, with a long red tassel attached at the end, the softness and thinness of the tassel contrasted sharply with the fierce looking sword.
Seemingly appearing out of thin air, Deng Zhang Ting suddenly asked from beside him,
“Chen Lao-shi, are you a bit nervous?”
Chen Yi shook his head.
Deng Zhang Ting chuckled,
“Actually, winning or losing, there’s no difference.
I had only thought that no matter what, I wanted to try and settle the yearning and hope in my heart.”
And then she pointed to a man in glasses in the fourth row of the audience panel.
With a bit of a faraway but comforted look on her face, she said,
“That is my husband.
We have been married for about six years now.”
Chen Yi glanced at her as Deng Zhang Ting continued,
“When I first left the hospital and stepped back onto the stage, I had been quite nervous still.
But the moment I think of him being down under the stage, I’m not afraid anymore.”
Their burning brilliance of a halo as a performer came from the stage, but their courage was from below.
Somehow time passed quickly and the fifth performance was already over with the audience giving a thunderous applause.
Following the MC’s reporting voice, Chen Yi realized he should step up onto the stage.
The stage lights were turned off, drenching the stage in darkness, and only when he and Deng Zhang Ting stood in their positions did the lights start to slowly pan over them.
The music rang out with a thunderous cry.
Following a quick tempo of drums, it transported people into the scene of heading out into battle in the name of the dynasty, very unlike the delicate, fine programs beforehand.
A wave of pressure and charisma swept down the stadium, and everyone held their breaths in anticipation of what was to come next.
There were two people on stage dancing with their swords, but the eyes of Fu Xiu Nian could only hold the shadow of Chen Yi.
He held in his hands a long sword as he danced between the movements with a perfect balance of tenderness versus strength.
Fast and glimmering, his sword shone like the white snow falling, letting others see only the shadows of where his sword used to be.
Yet when he was slow, he was like the breeze drifting back, switching between shadow and light, as if he was that vigilante in the ancient eras who could walk ten steps and kill someone, leaving nothing behind for a thousand miles.
A wandering vigilante wearing his straw hat tied by his chin, a sword as sharp and glimmering as the white of the snow by his side.
The moment the performance began, they only saw Chen Yi throw his long sword up in the air and then fly up and twist to catch it before it fell.
Deng Zhang Ting followed with a jump, her waist as bent as the curved moon in the sky.
Her watercolour robe lightly flew and fluttered around her, and between the light and the shadows, the two of them were so sleek and elegant, displaying a perfect balance between strength and gentle beauty.
When Du Fu was young, he had seen Gong Sun Dan Lang’s << Sword >> dance, and after having seen it, he left an exquisite and an absolute masterpiece of a poem that was passed down through the centuries.
Of Gong Sun, her dance expanded all the senses which no one now could have understood what it was like.
But the audience in the panel, they all suddenly had the image and thought that this must have been what Du Fu saw.2
The dance came to its last act and the drums slowly died down, changing into the few keys of a piano and then soon, all sounds crawled to a halt.
Under the lights and the shadows on stage, bodies stopped moving and the stage was highlighted with a special effect of waves.
Expanding and growing until they disappeared, shapeless, perfectly matching to the two people on stage as if they were light clouds and faint images, as if they were the past, a part of history and greatness.
There was silence for a few seconds and then thunderous applause broke through.
Whistles and yells almost blew the roof off, echoing and vibrating throughout the entire studio.
When Fu Xiu Nian came back to his senses, he also applauded with as much force as he could, his heart overcome with happiness that no one and nothing could stop.
Chen Yi looked over and met up with Fu Xiu Nian’s joyous eyes right then, and he couldn’t help but hook the corners of his mouth up.
When the group performances were done, all contestants would go up on stage to accept the judges’ judgment.
When it came to Chen Yi, Tong Lao-shi first lightly clapped and then complimented them,
“Other people chase after the small rivers, but you both went straight for the ocean.
Perfectly balanced between strength and gentleness, without a break of forcefulness, only of natural talent.
To be perfectly honest, I had been a bit worried about Chen Yi, but it’s very evident that you went above and beyond.
I am beyond surprised!”
Chen Yi slightly nodded his head at that, conceitedly accepting this praise.
Ying Zi Lao-shi also followed along with a brief compliment, but when it came down for Zhang Duo’s turn, he only heavily focused on Deng Zhang Ting, glossing over Chen Yi.
The smile on his face was stiff and frozen, looking very forced.
After the judges went into a very short debate, they finally came up with the final three.
The female MC received the list and stepped up on stage, doing the usual delaying and hyping up to the announcement.
After very many meaningless words to eat up the time, she finally announced the third place and then the second place, none of which were Chen Yi or Deng Zhang Ting.
After a long time, it came down to the champions of the competition.
The audience members’ hearts were dangling on the edge of their seats, and they all just wanted to snatch that list out of the MC’s hands to read it themselves instead of enduring this slow poke pace.
“I believe the names of the winners here that I have in my hands, are a pair everyone looked upon with great expectations.
Although this partner pair did not have much time together to learn as a team, and there were many obstacles and hassles along the way that came up in the middle, they were still able to overcome it all, bringing to everyone a program that was so excellent and beyond all the others……”
With these words, everyone knew who the winners would be and their gazes fell upon Chen Yi and Deng Zhang Ting.
The MC raised her voice, face brimming with a smile as she said,
“This season’s << Life Changes With a Dance >> champions are — Deng Zhang Ting, Chen Yi! Let us applaud the winners!”
The moment her voice dropped, Deng Zhang Ting couldn’t hold in her tears and she covered her face, choking up.
Compared to her, Chen Yi was much more calm and his face was quite emotionless, only turning his gaze occasionally to look towards the audience panels.
Since he was wearing a mask and couldn’t take it off in such an environment, Fu Xiu Nian could only raise up his LED sign with one hand and with the other, gave Chen Yi a big thumbs up.
This action was spotted by Chen Yi, making him hook the corners of his mouth up.
It could be said the eyes of the public were on the finals, and with Chen Yi joining in at the last minute, many anti-fans were waiting with their gear, ready to strike at a moment’s notice.
When the show finished filming, the news of him and Deng Zhang Ting winning as the season’s champions spread like wildfire throughout all corners of the internet, no doubt causing many jaws to drop and making everyone suspicious that the filming crew let them win.
>> Wow Deng Zhang Ting’s amazing.
A strong contender bringing along a beginner and still winning.
What a definite skilled dancer!
>> The program crew wouldn’t be purposefully giving the champion spot to Chen Yi because he joined the group right.
That’s really unfair.
It is as they say that it’s all about the connections and popularity right now.
Thankfully Deng Zhang Ting got the championship so it’s not too scripted.
>> Chen Yi wouldn’t really be counting on dancing his radio calisthenics to win would he? What a joke.
He probably got by just because of how the judges favoured Deng Zheng Ting.
When the program broadcasts, you anti-fans will all crawl on the floor like the dogs you are for us! Crawl crawl crawl!
The happiest amongst those fans was no doubt Fu Xiu Nian.
Because the contract between Chen Yi and GE was up, the two parties officially ended their relationship.
“Sign onto HS! Sign HS sign HS!”
Fu Xiu Nian was like a duckling, following right behind Chen Yi and he wouldn’t leave his side for any reason.
When Chen Yi walked in front of the bathroom door, he seemed to recall something and slowed his footsteps to a pause.
Fu Xiu Nian couldn’t stop in time and bumped right into his back.
He yelled out in pain before quickly backing off and holding onto his nose.
Chen Yi lowered his eyes,
“What are you following me for? Are you a three year old wanting to drink some milk?”
Fu Xiu Nian said with his hand still over his nose,
“You don’t even have milk.”
And then walked into the bathroom, staring at the mirror at his face.
He nervously poked his nose a few times and, seeing this, Chen Yi leaned against the doorway as he said,
You’ve pinched it for so many years now, is it going to fall if you bump it once or twice?”
Fu Xiu Nian puffed up with anger like a little child throwing a tantrum.
He smacked Chen Yi as he said,
“If my nose falls off, it’s because you bumped into it! Compensate me!”
Chen Yi laughed,
“Alright, let’s go.
I’ll send you to Thailand to fix your face.”
Fu Xiu Nian puffed up with even more anger,
“Other people go to Thailand to change their sex.”
Chen Yi walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
He scrutinized Fu Xiu Nian as he said,
“Your waist is so thin.
If you change your sex, you should be prettier than a woman.”
Seeing his actions, Fu Xiu Nian subconsciously wanted to escape, but he was pulled back by Chen Yi.
Chen Yi whispered with a low voice beside his ear,
“Didn’t you want to follow me? What, not going to anymore?”
Fu Xiu Nian pretended to be very calm,
“I’ll follow you after a bit.
I won’t bother you now since you’re showering.”
Chen Yi didn’t let go, smiling like a cat that caught the canary,
“What do you take me for? You want to follow, then you follow; you don’t want to follow, and so you don’t follow anymore, hmm?”
The shower above them suddenly turned on, and following the pitter-patter of the water, steam slowly rose in the air.
It seemed to cover their eyes in a sense of false reality and the moment Fu Xiu Nian lost himself to his senses, he was pushed up against the wall and kissed to the heavens by Chen Yi.
He dazedly felt the man above him feeling out his waist and then lightly biting his earlobe.
“Quite strong and flexible…… quite thin……”
Water droplets were sliding down Chen Yi’s masculine face and at this moment, he was surrounded by a wild and dominant kind of sexiness.
He held up Fu Xiu Nian’s slipping body and smiled wickedly as he said,
“If I danced with you a couple of days ago, perhaps my condition would be a bit better.”
Fu Xiu Nian couldn’t hear what Chen Yi was saying and his eyes suddenly registered a new environment as the two of them rolled themselves from the bathroom to the bed.
Saturday at 8pm, the finals for << Life Changes with a Dance>> was broadcasted.
Quite a few antis were sitting in front of their screens, ready to start typing away with their fingers.
Chen Yi had only learned two months of dancing, so it would be as easy as pie to find fault anywhere, and each one of them were anxious with glee to try.
Chen Yi’s fans were already prepared, ready to press down on any antis that jumped up.
No matter how many, they would stomp them all out!
Zhang Duo’s teams were so-so, and actually, Ying Zi Lao-shi’s Shao Jia Jia and Jin Qiu went beyond people’s expectations, with the elegant and beautiful performance of their << Great Dunhuang >>.
Occasionally there were some parts that were lacking but it was fairly free from mistakes.
At this point, they could be said to be the best pair yet, but everyone’s eyes were on somewhere else.
After suffering through the commercials the program stuffed in, it was finally down to the performance of Chen Yi and Deng Zhang Ting.
Chen Yi’s long and lean body, with his right hand holding his long sword against the back of his hand, and his eyebrows with a murderous aura, contrasted with Deng Zhang Ting’s light and flowy dance robe, with her gentleness and elegance.
Underneath the lights of the stage, it created this false yet real feeling of shadow and light, this ethereal sense.
The moment the music started, their auras and charisma were already miles ahead of the previous teams.
The sword in Chen Yi’s hands seemed to have its own soul.
In its movements, it left only the faint imprints of its shadows, blurring the eyes of those who tried to follow its path.
It could only be described as beautiful.
And when he flew up in the air, the grand lights behind him could only be described as the background wallpaper, like the moon shining against a clear river, his body was like the wind chasing the waves, perfectly meshing with Deng Zhang Ting’s gentle flexibility, mesmerizing all the audience that saw this in person.
So there was no doubt that even the people in front of their screens were dazed out of their minds from the beauty.
The moment the performance was completed, everyone finally came back to their senses.
Chen Yi’s fans were at the point where they were unable to stop their internal screaming, posting threads by the second, blowing Chen Yi up to the heavens with their compliments.
AHH AHHHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHH AHHHHHH Chen Yi how could you be so handsome!
How could you be so A!3
You hooked all of our souls away did you know did you know!!!
Those antis that said Chen Yi would be on stage performing radio calisthenics crawl out onto the floor right now!!!
A gentleman with his swords will always be the method to show off a unique charisma that belonged to him.
Quite a few people sitting in front of their monitors fell in love with his attitude of having nothing drag him down, the actions of someone who was so self confident, especially that last camera frame on Chen Yi with his murderous and sharp eyes, slaughtering the hearts of the girls who saw him.
AHHHH AHHH AHHH I’m going to turn crazy for you! Slam my head into the wall for you!
After a very simple ps, they immediately uploaded their work on all major platforms, and also edited a simple cut of Chen Yi and Deng Zhang Ting’s dance performance, salivating over their hotness and also over their bodies.
>> Who said that Chen Yi did not have the skills huh! Let me pummel you to death! Any motherfucking action Chen Yi does could make me shatter all my bones wu wu wu!! So hot!! So cool!! My ovaries are exploding, my hormones are out of control.
Tonight I am Fu Xiu Nian, please let me sleep with Chen Xiao-Yi for once!!
>> Hahahaha I don’t know if Chen Yi’s professional or not with his dance performance, but his martial arts skills are definitely top notch.
I could only see the shadows left behind by his sword swings.
Is this really only two months of learning how to dance?!
>> My Yi-Ge has been reborn from the ashes! Niu Hu Lu4 Chen Yi has returned!
>> He’s handsome that’s for sure.
And he’s really really good looking that’s for sure, but the only thing I want to know is…… where in the world did he take his dancing classes for those two months? I beg with a petition written in my blood for the address!!!
>> Count me in for the petition written in blood!!
Chen Yi would occasionally look at the comments online and he found that within one night, there were many comments that said they wanted to sleep with him.
He couldn’t help but say to Fu Xiu Nian,
There are so many people who want to sleep with me, you should really treasure these precious times we have now.”
Lying on the bed, Fu Xiu Nian silently tightened his hands into fists and raised his eyes to look up at Chen Yi,
“They want to sleep with you, and I let you sleep with me.
Can that be the same?”
*1 I can’t find a english translation from a very cursory search, but this is based on the poem of Ode to Gallantry by Li Bai, the search results just show the film and novel based on this by Jin Yong, which I believe has a page on novelupdates.
But in any case, this poem is about the high skill and hidden fame of youxias which are like wandering vigilantes or heroes of the people, and their glory and aura, their passion and their lifelong belief in what they do for name or to help otherwise for the people and save them, using their life to change their surroundings, and how it is something freeing and great.
Which on that note, Li Bai is a very very famous poet (I don’t think I can forget all those poems I had to memorize when I was young.
Most memorable and I think pretty much everyone would know is, called in english, Quiet Night Thought), and Jin Yong is also a famous author for quite a few wuxia novels, and also quite a few popular adaptations in tv and film were made based on those novels that I grew up with in childhood like The Deer and the Cauldron, The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, or if you recall from volume 1, a tv drama Lu Qi and Huo Ming Chen was watching, and was used as metaphor, The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.
*2 Du Fu is also another famous poet and Gong Sun Dang Lang is a famous sword dancer.
She’s usually referenced as Gong Sun Dang Lang, but the Dang Lang can be a way to refer to an older female, like an aunt, hence the author just uses Gong Sun in the other sentence.
She’s also sometimes referenced as Gong Sun in some literature but is usually called Gong Sun Dang Lang.
Du Fu wrote a poem about her once when he saw her dance when he was young and how there would be crowds of people who came to watch her, and basically saying how great she was, kind of like how the author described Chen Yi’s dance where when she moved, she was like the dragon in the sky, when she stationery, she was like the waves of the ocean holding its shadow, and the gleam on her sword was like Hou Yi who shot 9 suns down from the sky, and so forth.
*3 “A” as in the A in ABO.
They mean here how Chen Yi could be so “alpha” or if you don’t know ABO, take it as the term you probably have heard as alpha male.
Plum: D8 I can’t believe this has like………become colloquial.
*4 What they’re saying here is sort of like a meme i guess(?) born from this show called “Empresses in the Palace” and of the main character who is heavily involved in the “politics” if you will of the imperial court and the wives of the Emperor.
This girl was once so innocent, turns coldhearted and scheming, kind of growing up to be more knowledgeable and able to keep everyone she wants to protect safe (and she takes on a name change into Niu Hu Lu so hence it gets turned into the phrase where if you put it in front of a name, it means that the person has grown this kind of change).
In this case, the old useless Chen Yi is gone and here now is the brand new, strong, skillful, amazing, so much better, and becoming “anew” from the old useless filled with bad press and negative image issues Chen Yi.
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