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Sorry! Something urgent came up at work and I will be extremely busy. Just to be sure, I won't be updating for a month, so next update will by the 1st of June.

Studio Superstar: Chapter 66

On the set, Xue Xiao and Chang Yun were in their respective positions.

Xue Xiao listened to the countdown of the staff members, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath one last time.

As he slowly exhaled, his hands gradually loosened. His shoulders, back, waist, and abdomen—all parts of his body relaxed one by one.

“3, 2, 1—action!”

……

In the studio, the audience saw the posters for this play.

The two young men sat opposite each other at a dining table. Xue Xiao was picking up a cup of coffee. He leaned the rim of the cup against his lips, and the corners of his lips were raised slightly.

Chang Yun clasped his hands together and placed them on the table. There was a mixture of joy and anxiety on his face.

There was a street view outside the window. What was surprising was that all the passersby, whether they were standing on the intersection and waiting for a red light or walking on the footpath—they were all Chang Yun!

It was exactly the same face and clothing. It was very weird!

The audience immediately gulped.

This couldn’t be a horror movie, right?

Soon, the poster disappeared.

When the screen lit up again, what everyone saw was a shaking lens.

The camera focused on the row of price lists hung high up. The price list had black characters on a floral background and a very old-fashioned color scheme. It listed in a vertical row the words, ‘Potato stewed beef: 13 yuan’, ‘garlic stir-fried greens: 9 yuan’, ‘braised pork: 15 yuan’, etc…

In the next second, a shout rang out.

“…Nian!”

“Zheng Nian!”

The camera suddenly fell onto Xue Xiao’s body.

He played the role of Zheng Nian. He was wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of gray sweatpants. He looked very homely.

He was tilting his head and looking at the price list. Once he heard this shout, his mind returned, and he turned around. The camera naturally continued to turn left and filmed behind him.

Zhao Wenlei, played by Chang Yun, was sitting at the dining table. He said in surprise, “It is really you!”

Zheng Nian was stunned and instinctively smiled. “Lei Zi…”

Zhao Wenlei stood up. “Long time no see! I haven’t seen you since graduating from high school. Come on, sit here!”

The moment Zhao Wenlei said these words, a look of confusion flashed across Zheng Nian’s face.

But he didn’t ask anything. He sat down, and the two of them quickly exchanged pleasantries.

After hearing that Zheng Nian hadn’t ordered anything, Zhao Wenlei said enthusiastically, “Don’t order it. I have coffee here for you to drink!”

As he spoke, he lowered his head and took out a decent cup of coffee from somewhere. He pushed it in front of Zheng Nian.

The audience in the studio was in an uproar.

They were confused, and Zheng Nian also seemed a bit confused.

The coffee cup and coaster were both pure white ceramics. Due to Zhao Wenlei’s pushing action just now, the coffee in the cup shook. Then it soon stopped.

Zheng Nian raised his eyes uncertainly and asked, “Coffee?”

Zhao Wenlei hesitated. “Why? Don’t you like it?”

“……” Zheng Nian stared at him before forcing a smile. “N-No, thank you…”

Under Zhao Wenlei’s expectant gaze, he picked up the coffee cup and took a sip. Zhao Wenlei sighed with relief and said, “I remember that you like to eat sweets. Is there enough sugar in this cup?”

As he spoke, he took out another cup of coffee from below and drank it himself.

Zheng Nian watched his movements with dark eyes and listened to him ask, “Is there anything you want to eat? Pasta? Steak? It isn’t easy to see you. I will treat you today!”

Zheng Nian suddenly looked around. The camera followed his gaze.

The place was brightly lit, and the environment was elegant. There weren’t many customers at the other tables, but strangely, there were quite a few people standing against the wall in the far corner.

The people were talking in low voices and glancing at them from time to time.

The camera continued to scan the place, sweeping across a cashier counter. The girl was playing with her phone with her head down. Above her…

The audience was stunned.

Above her, the price list with a floral background should’ve said, ‘Potato stewed beef: 13 yuan’, ‘garlic stir-fried greens: 9 yuan’, ‘braised pork: 15 yuan’, etc… However, it had turned into ‘fried chicken burger’, ‘spaghetti with tomato bolognese’, ‘black tea latte’, and so on.

At this moment, even Guan Ruoying, Su Shijin, and Feng Wei in the mentor seats were a bit thoughtful.

They were very busy during the rehearsals and had no time to see other groups. Naturally, they had no idea what the plot of Shen Tingyan’s play was about.

But at present, it seemed that this play was full of weirdness.

The price list had changed, which was naturally due to the on-site staff changing it. But what did this change mean?

The poster for this play showed two characters clearly sitting in a coffee store. They were indeed drinking coffee at the moment. However, at the beginning of the play, the price list showed that this was a Chinese store. It even looked very similar to a university cafeteria. So what was going on?

There were also the two characters played by Xue Xiao and Chang Yun. Their respective reactions were also very subtle.

The camera zoomed in on their movements and expressions. Every detail on their faces and hands was intriguing.

In the midst of all the doubts, everyone continued to look down.

Zheng Nian obviously had no intention of ordering food. He was drinking coffee with a worried look on his face.

Zhao Wenlei didn’t notice anything wrong with this person and continued chatting by himself.

From the conversation between the two of them, the audience realized that even though they were high school classmates and seemed to know each other well, they didn’t seem to be the type of brothers who were very close.

For example, Zhao Wenlei knew that opposite the house where Zheng Nian used to live, there was an older brother who was three years older than them. His name was Hao Pengyu. He was tall and strong. He liked to fight, was violent, and got into a lot of trouble. Zheng Nian was a bit afraid of him. In high school, he would try to avoid the other person every time when going home.

Zhao Wenlei smiled and asked, “Is that Hao Pengyu still living opposite your house now?”

Zheng Nian replied absentmindedly, “…We moved when I was a freshman.”

Zhao Wenlei was stunned.

It was a very delicate relationship.

He was so familiar with the other person that he knew Zheng Nian’s neighbor, but he didn’t know that Zheng Nian’s family moved when they were freshmen in college.

In other words, the two people probably hadn’t contacted each other once since separating after high school.

Zhao Wenlei nodded in a daze. “Oh… is your father still beating you?”

Zheng Nian took another sip of coffee.

The moment he raised the coffee cup, his sleeves slid down slightly. The camera scanned the old scars on his wrist, which shocked the audience.

Zheng Nian replied in a low voice, “…He no longer beats me.”

“That’s good. It is right. You are already so old. It is outrageous if he is still hitting you…”

Zheng Nian said nothing.

He raised his eyes and looked with sad eyes at Zhao Wenlei, who was muttering to himself. “I wanted to call the police every time I saw so many injuries on your body in high school.”

……

Xue Xiao’s eyes were very beautiful. Almost no one on the Internet would disagree with this.

These eyes were large and had soft lines. When he stared at someone quietly, the soft waves of water were always telling silent words, conveying quiet and strong emotions.

At this moment, those eyes were extremely sad.

These shots were very subtle.

Zheng Nian stared at Zhao Wenlei silently. Zhao Wenlei seemed to block all information from the outside world. He was immersed in his own world, sometimes excited and sometimes sad.

The two people sitting at the same dining table seemed to be living in two different worlds, unable to intersect.

This was until Zhao Wenlei said, “…Do you still have those scars on your body? They should all be gone, right? Those scars don’t look good…”

Zheng Nian seemed to not want to hear anything else about this topic. He interrupted, “What about you? How are you and your parents doing now?”

Zhao Wenlei stopped abruptly.

Zheng Nian stared at him. “Do you still hate them now?”

Zhao Wenlei’s expression suddenly became a bit dull.

Zheng Nian was silent for a moment before saying, “Your parents used to stare at you so much because they wanted you to study hard… Now that you are working, they shouldn’t do that any longer, right?”

Zhao Wenlei shook his head silently.

Zheng Nian frowned. “Is it still like that? They won’t give you a phone, they limit your time outside every day and even control how many bites you take in a meal?”

Zhao Wenlei still didn’t speak. He just lowered his head.

“…How can you go to work if they control you like this?” Just after saying this, Zheng Nian suddenly remembered something, and his expression flickered. “…Oh yes, your dad owns a company…”

……

Seeing this, the audience understood. Zheng Nian and Zhao Wenlei were both very unhappy people in their original families.

Zheng Nian’s father committed domestic violence and often beat Zheng Nian since he was a child. The scars on his wrist were probably left by Zheng Nian’s severe depression back then.

It was also easy to imagine Zhao Wenlei’s family. At first glance, his parents seemed to love him, but they managed him like he was their personal property.

They restricted all his behaviors with inhuman demands. This almost perverted way of discipline had turned Zhao Wenlei into the wooden and neurotic appearance he had today.

These two people probably got closer to each other because of their similar circumstances and their pity for each other.

However, it was precisely because their relationship was built on each other’s scars—scars were painful and couldn’t be exposed all year round. They would become inflamed and rot. So one day, these people would naturally cover their scars and distance themselves from each other.

They needed breathing space.

At this moment, both of them suddenly fell silent.

Zheng Nian seemed to hesitate about something. From time to time, he glanced at the people in the corner of the cafe. His index finger bent and rubbed against his thumb. He was a bit nervous.

Meanwhile, Zhao Wenlei seemed to be in a daze. He kept his head down and was motionless.

Suddenly, both of them made up their minds at the same time and spoke.

Zheng Nian said, “Lei Zi, there is something I have to tell you—”

Zhao Wenlei raised his head. “Ah Nian, there is something I have never dared to tell anyone!”

Both were stunned.

Zheng Nian said first, “Say it first. What’s the matter?”

Zhao Wenlei gulped.

He suddenly leaned closer.

Zheng Nian leaned towards him cooperatively.

The distance between the two of them was shortened to the point where they were just one centimeter away from each other.

Zheng Nian heard Zhao Wenlei lower his voice and said in a trembling voice, “…In fact, my parents suddenly disappeared a month ago.”

Zheng Nian was stunned.

He asked doubtfully, “Disappeared?”

Zhao Wenlei’s face turned very pale at some point. Fine sweat oozed from his forehead.

There was a sense of unease and fear that hung over him. This atmosphere was transmitted to the audience who was watching the play in the studio at this moment.

The audience also sat very still. They clearly felt as if something was coming.

Zhao Wenlei gulped and said, “I don’t know. I don’t know if they are missing…”

Zheng Nian was a bit confused. “What do you mean?”

“It is because after my parents disappeared, two other people appeared in my family.”

Zheng Nian was stunned.

Zhao Wenlei’s sweat slid down his cheeks like rain. “…Those two people look exactly like me, but they claim to be my parents.”

At this moment, Zheng Nian froze.

He looked at Zhao Wenlei in shock. Almost all the viewers could feel his chills at this moment.

This topic obviously frightened Zhao Wenlei. He was trembling all over.

However, the person sitting in front of him was Zheng Nian, who had the same problem as him and who knew his worst and most cowardly side. Thus, he was willing to muster up the courage to speak out.

His teeth were chattering, and his voice became more erratic. “From that day on, other ‘me’ often appear around me. I don’t know what they are, whether they are aliens, ghosts, or monsters. Sometimes, they will appear out of thin air. Sometimes, they will transform human bodies and turn others into me…”

As he spoke, his eyes instinctively drifted behind Zheng Nian. Suddenly, he looked away in extreme horror. His whole body tensed up. He clenched his hands and said hurriedly, “‘It is behind you now… it is just ten meters behind you!”

Zheng Nian was startled and quickly turned his head to look.

There were also small exclamations in the studio!

Comment

  1. Dan says:

    Ahhhhh!!! I want to know what happens next!!! 🙈🙈

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the update

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