Shift! The Side-Character Heroine - Chapter 583 - Fascinated

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:42:09]
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Chapter 583: Fascinated

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Zhou Xing was just another regular university student, but he may have watched just a little too many movies. Moreover, uncharacteristically as a male student, he tailed celebrity-related trends with immense fervor. Even so, he was not a fan of those ‘pipeline-styled\'[1] idols and celebrities. Those stars were far too homogenized – they would never stand the test of time. He could always count on their endless replacements who would themselves be replaced promptly…

It was most hurtful to see idols and celebrities claiming to be chaste, only to have them end up getting involved in scandals the most. These hypocrites most likely looked down on their own fans as well.

Zhou Xing read them like a book. Unfortunately, fangirls of those young and handsome idols did not know how to read. Several male idols had already been proven to be “Cannon Kings” – complete with substantial evidence. Even so, they never ran out of fangirls.

It was probably the very fact that they were “Cannon Kings” that precipitated this. If that was not the case, those girls could just stay at home and be fans of those handsome Gods within “Love and Producer!”[2] Go on, live in your 2D world!

When it came to the caliber of an actress, Zhou Xing placed her acting skills to be first on the list of priorities. Of course, he was not totally exempt from the allure of beauty either. He would never be a fan of an unbearable sight. All in all, it would certainly be best if acting skill and great beauty coexisted.

Unfortunately, such actresses were far too scarce. Even so, actresses with both great acting skill and beauty often fell under harsh, heavy criticism. Perhaps they confused great acting skill with “daring to strip and bare flesh for all the world to see.”

As a regular university student, his nights would often be free and empty. During those hours, his roommates might get together and have LAN parties with games like PUBG or the forever popular LoL. On the other hand, he would be doing what he enjoyed most – watching movies by himself.

As a highly experienced movie-watcher, he had seen just about everything the mainstream world could offer. He had probably watched all the movies in those “Top 10 xx” lists that you find on the internet.

Of course, he had yet to touch the truly great classics. After all, he was only a Second-Year university student. Two years was far from enough to be considered as a leisurely, wonderful university life.

Recently, this late legendary actress, Zhang Guorong had been resurrected by the internet. More were following the trend, claiming how remarkable her movies were, and how she truly deserved the title, “Queen Of A Thousand Faces.” Most of all, her melancholic eyes seemed to drain your very soul. Her acting was simply outstanding!

Most unfortunately, this candle had been snuffed out at the height of its radiance. The cause was never known, and to add to that mystery, photos of her daily casual life were next to non-existent. If you were lucky, you might find a few movie photos of her in-character!

Zhou Xing could not resist the flow of trends. We are not saying that University Students were so naive and hive-minded, it was the Internet Age, after all. When something picks up momentum on the internet, people would flock to it, if only to prove that they were keeping up with the times. Some just did it for the attention; others did it for profit and fame. They could even use this as a pick-up line for girls.

It did not take long for the “Sis, I love you forever.jpg” meme to take flight. Zhang Guorong had become the cosmic authority, she was like the heroine of “Violet Evergarden,” an anime which people have referred to as the human Bible. Whether they have ever watched it before, those people would simply tail the trend and blabber about it. Those who dared oppose were only making their own lives difficult, making an enemy out of the entire human race!

Undoubtedly, some high standard critics[3] walked among these people, hoping that these praises might end up as curses instead. Nevertheless, they could not bring themselves to deny her charm objectively.

Zhou Xing had also heard about Zhang Guorong before, if only by name. He knew very little about her. When he started off by watching some of her classic films, he quickly became convinced the trend had been well-founded. It was such a shame. At that age, filmmakers were severely limited by the technology of their time, and were thus unable to provide a full-on Zhang Guorong experience…

Zhou Xing even could not help but imagine how great it would be if the cameras of this age could film Zhang Guorong. When he thought it over, he soon realized that Zhang Guorong might not have been as accomplished in this age – celebrities today lived in far too much luxury. Money easily came pouring in. Who would have time to hone his or her acting skills?

But of course, we should not paint all celebrities with the same brush. Some actresses still lived by the old-school code of solitary method-acting. Unfortunately, these great souls were either underappreciated or completely obscure. Nobody gave them the honor of the leading role. At most, they either acted as sidekicks or goons. Celebrities who had their personal brand and knew how to market themselves, imprinting their presence in the scene usually received these roles.

When Zhou Xing was finished watching Zhang Guorong’s movies, he wanted to find out more about this legendary actress, just like others. His searches on the internet came up short. He could only find some quotes and movie lines from her.

Even those great Gods on Zhihu were unable to come up with any truthful-sounding, convincing stories. After all, they did not even have access to 70% of the truth. No story could be made up out of thin air. Those great Gods did not intend to ruin their reputations, not after working so hard to build up good reviews about themselves. Thus, they could only reply like so——

“Thanks for the invitation. Zhang Guorong has indeed gotten very popular recently. Unfortunately, we could only speculate from what little we’ve seen from her movies, but we are unable to retrieve any of her private information. I can only say that the paparazzi of her era were too incompetent! I know, I know. You guys will try to show me the various scandals from so and so from her generation. Well, what can I say? People are different. Perhaps “sis” was as frugal as reality permitted, so the paparazzi would be left helpless…”

Although Zhou Xing was thoroughly disappointed in the great Gods on Zhihu, he finally learned of a particular book that had been trending on the internet. People had even recognized it as Zhang Guorong’s official biography.

Without any hesitation, he immediately purchased this book from the web store. He had no other choice. Generally, bookstores would never place self-help/professional books on their shelves. What’s the point of ordering something that would not sell?

The bookstores close to his university mostly sold trivia and gossip magazines that were catered for university students. Indeed, the market for actual reading material these days was dying. After all, people had phones in hand. They could find everything they wanted to read on the internet.

It took a few days for the book to reach his doorstep. After shoving aside his other plans to make more free time for himself, he headed to the library and read the book. Compared to the relatively noisy bedroom, the library was nirvana. Such a book deserved his full, careful attention. He could not afford to be distracted by the sound of a pin drop.

He had initially believed that it would take all his effort to focus on the book. After all, it was a self-help book – not something that would give the heart a few skips. After reading, he was thoroughly fascinated!

This was no self-help book. It hardly even spoke about “good acting.” If anything, this was a non-fictional biography! Most impressively, the author had perfectly conveyed the golden age of the film industry, when it was just at the brink of several technological breakthroughs that revolutionalized the game. Reading it through you back into a time capsule. The nostalgia – for lack of a better word – even if one had not actually lived in that time, was bone-chilling!

Most interestingly, it had been written from Zhang Guorong’s first-person perspective, as if Zhang Guorong had written the book herself. She had returned to life and wrote this masterpiece. Her recollections and retellings had been so vivid and detailed!

Zhou Xing leaned back, satisfied. He could never describe the pleasure of reading this book to anyone else. They would simply have to read it themselves!

Translation Note:

[1] Pipeline-style – It refers to a type of method in producing new idols and celebrities. They are chosen by companies through drafting, following by training, and then debut. The results would be standardized and consistent.

[2] “Love and Producer” – This is a card collection love mobile game, produced by Suzhou Diezhi Network Technology Co. Ltd. The game is developed, issued, and operated by the company itself. The game focuses more towards female players.

[3] High standard critics – It refers to those critics who use high standard, civilized, humorous language to negatively criticize everything in the world. To be simple, they praise on appearance, yet satirize in fact. But the thing they praised is not the same object they satirized. They satirize the object they wanted to criticize with the help of the object they praised.