Tang Feng wanted his last scene, even though it was a tragic one that would end with him dying, to be a perfect conclusion that would bring him fond memories in the future. But things didn’t go as perfectly as he’d imagined. There were always people who were envious of others for being better than they were. Green with jealousy, they’d try to drag that person down, smearing their perfection.
Take, for example, a question on an exam: There is a line drawn on a piece of paper. How would you surpass this line?
Some people would choose to draw a longer line. Others would choose to do everything in their power to cut the original line in half.
Envy not only made people ugly, it also made them stupid and ignorant.
“Action!” the director commanded. Tang Feng’s last scene as a musician finally began. In the scene, the female lead, played by Tang Tian Tian, had been sentenced to a beating by wooden staffs. After hearing this news, the male lead tried to rush back to where she was. The time before the male lead’s arrival would be filled by the musician, acted by Tang Feng. He would die in place of the girl.
The wooden staffs used in the scene were all real. Although it looked like the actors were mercilessly swinging their weapons down, they actually held back before the staff made contact with the body. Plus, a thick mat was tied to Tang Tian Tian’s body, hidden underneath her costume.
From the viewpoint of the people on set, even though the wooden staffs were swung, no sound was made. The horrifying sounds of wood striking flesh would be added later during editing as sound effects.
Sitting in a chair, the female lead took around four to five hits from the wooden staffs. Tang Tian Tian’s acting skills were rather good. She clenched her teeth tight, as if she really was suffering from the pain of the hits. Adding to that her clean and pretty features, it truly made people feel sorry for her. It was quite an abusive scene.
At that moment, the musician, who had heard that the girl was being beaten, hurried over. What could a powerless and weak musician like him do? Ask for help? It would be the same as not asking. Who would listen to him? In the end, he could only shield the girl with his own body, and take the hits for her.
The girl, who had not uttered a single word since her beating began, suddenly started pleading. She pleaded with the man who was shielding her, who was the same as her, imprisoned inside the palace against their wills. She pleaded with him to stop and move away from her.
“It doesn’t hurt. I’m not hurt.” The musician only repeated those words over and over, his voice gentle and warm. He couldn’t save himself, but he could at least save this girl who still had a good life ahead of her.
His voice became smaller and smaller, until finally, brilliant red blood flowed down from the corners of his ashen lips. It was like the blooming of bright plum blossoms. Blooms in exchange for his life.
It was a melodramatic, yet sorrowful scene. It lasted until the musician was beaten to death. The male lead then made his late appearance to save the female lead. By then, Tang Feng’s part in the drama had already ended. It was at that moment when something unexpected happened. The two actors who were in charge of carrying out the sentence suddenly deviated from the script. They raised the sticks that were wrist-thick and swung down hard on Tang Feng’s body. This time, the blows were for real. The wooden staffs made dull thuds as they struck against Tang Feng. No matter how fast his reaction was, he still got hit a few times.
The set became instant chaos. Tang Tian Tian yelled in alarm and grabbed Tang Feng, rolling down from her chair in the process. Xiao Yu hurried over and immediately started kicking those two actors with her high heels.
“Tang Feng, are you alright?” Xiao Yu ran over to Tang Feng’s side. He got up from the floor and shook his head. Then, pulling Xiao Yu with him, they returned to the lounge together.
They had been told that the hits would only be for show, but Xiao Yu had clearly heard the sounds of wood hitting flesh earlier. Tang Feng was unfamiliar with the two actors who were playing as the punishers, but incomprehensibly, they started beating him. Xiao Yu argued with one of the staff members and tried to make sense of the situation, but the other only glared at her impatiently and said, “How would I know why those two started hitting people? You’re asking me, but who should I ask? Besides, if he can’t even endure something like this, why become an actor in the first place? He only took a few hits, it’s nothing big.” Upon hearing those words, Xiao Yu became speechless with anger.
Proofreaders: Natas, Syrra