Qin Chun felt depressed.
He had believed that this crew was really as good as rumored. After all, he was also one of the leading actors and had seen the crowds at the auditions, plus in the entertainment circle, the two directors had the reputation of being strict.
But what was going on now? Such an important role, was to be performed by this young man before him? In terms of the script, although Fu Zhu was not the protagonist, he was one of the side characters with a pivotal role in the plot. In terms of ranking the relative positions of the characters, Fu Zhu’s importance was no worse than that of the second and third male leads.
Before the TV series started filming, the crew had initiated a vote amongst the original fans of the novel. Viewing the novel as a whole, the most impressive character was neither Wei Chigong or Li Shimin, but it was instead this little supporting character.
Female readers, in particular, were anticipating the embodiment of this immortal character. Such a supporting role could easily become the highlight of a drama, but Zheng Kezhen, had causally found a young man to play this role?
This person looked good, especially his smile. Although he was not overly enthusiastic, he easily gave people a good impression. But what about it?!
No matter how you looked at it, he was ten thousand miles away from the fairy-like character described in the original work!
Qin Chun rolled his eyes and walked away. He obviously wanted to be rude, so he did not hide his contempt from Luo Ding. Zheng Kezhen sighed helplessly: “This guy is so old and yet has such a dead personality. Over the years I have no idea how many people he has offended.”
Zheng Kezhen patted Luo Ding’s shoulder, worried that the latter was depressed, and explained, “Do not underestimate him though, he can be regarded as an old hand in the drama circles and has acted in many blockbusters. It’s just that he does not know how to behave like a human being and his thoughts are a bit pedantic. Anyway, he won’t have much interaction with you and he will understand everything after you work together.”
It was not the first time that Luo Ding had encountered this kind of individual who had a zero emotional quotient and who could not behave like a human being outside the theatre. Yet, as Zheng Kezhen had said, in the entertainment industry, such an existence usually could not be overlooked. It is no wonder that Qin Chun was known as an old master in the drama industry but Luo Ding, did not recognize him.
Luo Ding smiled: “It’s not that serious. I have watched senior Qin’s work before and he is worthy of admiration.”
Luo Ding’s magnanimity was equivalent to simultaneously easing the way for three people. Consequently, Zheng Kezhen’s embarrassment was swept away and he looked at Luo Ding with more appreciation.
Nowadays, young people were generally arrogant and regarded their self-esteem to be higher than the sky. But in the entertainment industry, it was not a good thing to have too many sharp edges and corners. Luo Ding’s understanding made Zheng Kezhen feel at ease. After all, as a director, no one wanted the studio to be full of intrigue and personal grievances.
Luo Ding’s schedule was relatively condensed, with the longest forty-episode period being closely intertwined. Fu Zhu was active in Li Shimin’s youth. Hence, due to the convenience of filming indoors this part of the shoot was moved forward.
The leads Wu Yuan and Pan Yiming had arrived earlier in the morning and when Luo Ding entered the dressing room, he attracted the attention of all the strangers present.
One of the features of historical dramas was that there was no need to use popular actors to increase publicity. Therefore, except for some actual third-tier artists many of the actors were not well-known. However, although these people were not popular, their qualifications in the drama industry were not shallow. Just as the waters of the Jinghe and the Weihe were distinct, the ranks of actors in the TV circle were also very clear. These types of orthodox drama actors looked down on actors from the idol drama faction.
Luo Ding smiled at everyone and did not rush to break the silence. He took Wu Fangyuan with him to find a corner to sit down and have his makeup applied.
Everyone secretly paid attention to him for a while and found that this young man was always very calm and gentle, and it increased their affection for him. If Luo Ding had been eager to talk to them at the beginning, I am afraid that his evaluation among these people would have been the reverse.
After uniting all the characters together this shoot was naturally the most complete scene after filming commenced. All the characters in the show appeared one by one. There was only one such special period, and that was when Fu Zhu had become famous after being brought back to the Court to become an official. There was a meeting where all of Li Shimin’s confidantes were gathered to greet him in the palace. At this time, even Wang Junkuo and Du Ruwen were alive.
In the first scene, everyone was filming very seriously. Wu Yuan, dressed in red and yellow robes, was sitting on the dragon throne with a crown on his head. And when he was not smiling, he was domineering. The two courtiers standing beneath the throne held a wash basin in their hands and bowed their heads respectfully.
Wei Chigong was dressed in heavy armor. He listened to the emperor’s low and slow voice in his ear and buried his head even lower.
Yan Chen left his place within the ranks of the gathered officials and then bowed down in respect: “Your Majesty, the renovation of Luoyang Palace is extremely urgent. Your Majesty, you are the most revered and respected emperor, how can you condescend to live in such a humble abode?”
The emperor was motionless and heaved a long sigh: “The plague of locusts is raging, the burden of labor is heavy, and the people are still hungry. How can zhèn covet pleasure and ignore the world?” Seeing that the sycophantic official had returned to the lineup of assembled officials the emperor quietened but his eyes held a little happiness, “Today there is a great joy to share with zhèn’s beloved ministers. The illustrious name of Fu Zhu, zhèn’s beloved ministers, must have heard of it. There are many with lofty ideals among the people and zhèn craves for virtue when thirsty, so zhèn sent people invite them. Fu Zhu is indifferent to fame and fortune, so he didn’t want to agree, but after he felt zhèn’s deep sincerity he has arrived in Chang’an today. “
There was a commotion below.
The hearts of all were joyful.
However, for those who, because of their contribution to the dragon throne, had been the emperor’s left and right arms, everything in Court had changed so fast. After ascending the throne, the Emperor’s trust in them was significantly reduced and thus he consciously eroded the exclusive power in their hands. The cunning rabbit dies and the dogs cook is a fact that everyone knows. What the emperor had done was not too bad and at least to the extent permitted their group of old ministers had a comfortable life.
So, with their tails tucked between their legs they had been content to enjoy glory and wealth while watching the newly promoted imperial faction rise to the top. They had understood the emperor’s concerns and because of the emperor’s wisdom and determination, they still followed him resolutely. But that did not mean that they were willing to welcome a wise man of unknown origin from among the people.
This kind cannon fodder were the most jealous and hateful wherever they were.
However, after looking from the left to the right, under the emperor’s deterrence, only Wei Chigong had the courage to make a statement.
“Your Majesty, reconsider!” Wei Chigong was worried about another aspect, ” Though Fu Zhu was a famous official whose name he had heard of, his origin was unknown. Thus, Wei Chigong rushed into battle now for fear of future troubles!”
The emperor was a bit displeased. After supporting his ascension to the throne these old ministers had forgotten their place. Although most of the time they were very clever and kept a low profile, after finally assuming this position as emperor he did not want to be restricted by them all his life.
Now, it was just one advisor he wanted to appoint, yet this group of old men all looked reluctant and appeared to be worried about losing power.
But what he wanted was precisely for them to lose power.
The emperor chuckled: “Zhen’s beloved official is a little worried. Fu Zhu is a person of outstanding ability whose talents Zhen cares for, Zhen will not trust him blindly. Now a plague of locusts and a flood have destabilized the world, and Zhen would like to invite him to advise on the situation. Fu Zhu is equally famous for his presence and his high aspirations which are beyond the mundane world thus it is not appropriate to question his origin.
“But!” Wei Chigong was so anxious, yet he didn’t know how to refute the emperor’s words.
“Retreat!” the emperor ordered, and then said to the attendant, “Tell Fu Zhu to come in”
Wei Chigong was ashamed and angry. He sighed fiercely, returned to the assembly and angrily stared at the entrance of the doors.
The doors slowly opened, and the ennuch rushed in with quick short steps, with his head down he whispered something into the emperor’s ear.
An announcement sounded from far to near.
Wei Chigong’s face became a little colder. The emperor’s attitude of paying Fu Zhu such attention made them, the heroes who had fought for the world, feel bad.
“Fu Zhu has arrived!”
Following the sharp voice, a foot covered in cloth shoes stepped through the backlit doorway.
The sun formed a halo around the guest.
Wei Chigong stared in shock at the other party, and his initial anxiety was as though it had been thrown into a stone mill and ground away little by little.
Fu zhu stoically raised his robes and placed his feet across the entry threshold. No one took the lead to speak thus he first smoothed the folds at the corners of his clothing, then he turned his cold eyes on the emperor sitting in the highest position.
He approached the throne step by step, his steps seemed to levitate from the ground and his pace seemed more ethereal than that of an ordinary person.
Fu Zhu did not pay even the slightest bit of attention to Wei Chigong yet everyone, including Wei Chigong, was unconsciously staring at his every move. The temperament of an immortal coupled with his lightly colored plain clothes gave the illusion that in the next moment he will be wiping off dust and stepping onto the clouds.
The emperor did not seem to have expected that Fu Zhu would be such an otherworldly person, yet he did not feel offended by Fu Zhu’s unfettered gaze. The Emperor leaned forward on the table instinctively and met Fu Zhu’s gaze.
Fu Zhu lowered his eyes which were empty like that of a dead man.
Without a trace of respect, he knelt neatly, clenched his fists, and firmly pressed it to his forehead.
” I have seen Your Majesty.”
There was silence at the scene until Deng Jian Lian’s voice sounded: “Cut!”
The staff behind the camera were the first to stir. Wu Yuan was still sitting on the throne frozen. Qin Chun gasped a few times and stared at Luo Ding who was still kneeling on the ground bowing. Qin Chun’s heart was still immersed in the plot. This was Fu Zhu! There was no doubt that the person in front of him was like he had walked straight out of from the pages of the book. His unwillingness, his hatred, his forbearance, everything, except Fu Zhu, no second person could blend such contrasting emotions so perfectly.
So, such a temperament could also really be interpreted?
Because of the disrespect he shown to the other in the morning, Qin Chun was hesitant for a moment. Seeing this hesitation, Luo Ding, who had been kneeling on the ground, suddenly jumped up like a spring, stretched his waist and said, “Should we speak Shaanxi in the next take?”
Everyone including Wu Yuan paused for a second. After a moment’s delay the audience burst into laughter.
Everyone drew close to Luo Ding for a while, and the group of people who had not deigned to speak to him in the dressing room surrounded him tacitly and started to make fun of each other. Luo Ding stood within the group and without needing to speak much he had become the focus of everyone.
At the location of the shoot, a group of people from the production team gathered around the monitor and stared at the screen with serious faces.
“We really don’t need another take?” Deng Jian Lian frowned and turned to Zheng Kezhen.
Zheng Kezhen looked at Luo Ding, who was chatting and laughing with everyone and re-focused his attention on the images in front of him.
“No need. In a short while just take a few separate close up shots.” He was also incredulous.
“How could it have gone so smoothly?” It was the first scene to boot. He had been a director for so many years and this was the first time he has encountered such a thing.
“Because of Luo Ding’s positioning.” From the opening shot to the to the last kneeling pose, Luo Ding made no mistakes and each step happened to land at the best shooting position. This scene had originally required several camera shots but was completely captured in one long take. Zheng Kezhen sighed and fell back into his chair. He looked up, exchanged a gaze with Deng Jian Lian, and they tacitly reached a consensus.
This young man will be absolutely amazing in the future
 Meaning to be prideful
 Meaning to be prickly or easily angered
Zhèn is used when the emperor refers to himself. Comparable to the use of the royal “we” in English.
 One is greedy for men with ability
 Regarding the meaning of this idiom, this is what my research turned up: “The rabbit is cooked by the dead dog, which means that the cunning rabbit is dead, and the hound is useless. It also refers to a person who abands him lackeys immediately after using up a person.” I believe this implies that Li Shimin after ascending the throne was getting rid of the stooges who had helped him get there.
 空降兵 – the literal meaning here is paratroopers. I understand it to mean “rabble rousers” but I am actually not sure.
 Referring to mandarin tones. Mandarin pronunciation of Shaanxi and its eastern neighbor Shanxi differs in tone