Zhao Hongxiang nearly went mad. “Director Yu, are you joking? I can understand it if you are getting a veteran actor as cameo. But a rookie… as cameo? Tell me. This has to be a joke, right?”
“Come on, there’s no need to make such a fuss. It’s just a rehearsal, and not the actual shoot. You are only here to watch the effects and not to watch the final edited cut, correct? Of course, if you have plenty of time, you can stay here. I can guarantee you that in less than three days, a veteran will appear. In my experience however, you might not be satisfied with what you see,” emphasized Yu Guanze. Deep down, he did not pin his hopes on Fangzheng. There was just no one that could take on the daunting task, so it was a last ditch effort on his part. Regardless, Fangzheng was a real monk. He was acting as himself, so it would be better than getting a random villager to do the part, right…?
Yu Guanze thought of making the cameo himself but he had a role to play in a latter part of the script. If he cameoed twice in a movie, wouldn’t he end up being scolded? Most importantly, Yu Guanze was using Fangzheng because of simple urgency. After sending off the two moneybags, he could hire another veteran and film again if necessary.
With Yu Guanze saying so, Zhao Hongxiang and Hu Xiao had no way to rebut. No one expected Elder Song to be hospitalized. Since it happened, what else could they do?
Hu Xiao shrugged. “Director Yu, then give it a try. If it really doesn’t work, we can wait. Sigh… ”
Zhao Hongxiang smiled wryly. “Director Yu, can you tell me about the monk you found. Which school did the rookie graduate from?”
Yu Guanze replied with a bitter smile, “He’s not from any school. He’s an abbot from that monastery.”
Zhao Hongxiang became anxious when he heard that rookie was not a top graduate from a film school. Wasn’t this an act of deceit? However, when he heard that it was the abbot of a nearby monastery, he felt a lot better. As he traced Yu Guanze’s gaze, he saw a palm-sized monastery. He said with a bitter smile, “Director Yu, if you had not pointed it out, I wouldn’t have been able to find it.”
Zhao Hongxiang’s words were obvious. He had no faith.
Hu Xiao said, “Enough. Director Zhao, if it’s a real abbot, a monk that has practiced Buddhism for many years should produce quite an effect if he’s acting himself. By the way, Director Yu, can we meet that accomplished master?”
When Yu Guanze heard those words he felt a string of curses run through his head. He did not wish to light up hope in the duo’s hearts before destroying them with despair. The two moneybags just kept raising their own hopes up, setting themselves up for the drop. He was helpless. Looking at the duo who had eyes filled with anticipation of seeing an elderly accomplished monk, Yu Guanze pointed to Fangzheng, who was looking curiously at the cameras, “That’s the Master.” With that said, he grabbed the opportunity to run away when Zhao Hongxiang and Hu Xiao turned their heads. He grabbed Old Tao over. “Handle them. I’ll be making preparations for other stuff.”
Director Yu left the moment he said that.
Old Tao was about to say something when he heard two angry roars behind him. “He’s the guy?”
“Director Yu, are you kidding me? Is this monk even twenty years old? This… This… You can’t just choose an actor because of his looks! If this rascal were to appear in such a grim battlefield, he would instantly appear out of place!”
Zhao Hongxiang and Hu Xiao turned their heads again and realized that Yu Guanze had run off. Replacing him was the dispensable Old Tao.
Zhao Hongxiang was not polite to Old Tao in any way. He grabbed Old Tao by the collar and bellowed, “Where’s Director Yu? Where is he?”
Old Tao said bitterly, “He left first because he has matters to tend to.”
“He left, my ass! He ran off… Fine, I understand now. There’s just no one to stand in today. Forget it, I’ll make do with it. If it doesn’t work out, we can only wait… Sigh.” Hu Xiao said bitterly.
Zhao Hongxiang was helpless, his shoulders slumped, “What’s there to see? We probably have to wait three days. I suspect that Director Yu deliberately found this unreliable monk to make up the numbers while forcing us to wait here.”
“Shut up!” Zhao Hongxiang and Hu Xiao were fuming. The moment Old Tao spoke, they found someone to vent their anger. They felt a lot better after berating him.
Old Tao felt aggrieved. “Who did he offend? He was not the harbinger of Elder Song’s illness. He was not the one that recruited Fangzheng. The plan was drafted by Yu Guanze, so why did all the bad luck befall him? How was he to lead the rest of his days?”
Old Tao, experienced as he was, kept his face straight. “Gentlemen, why don’t you have a seat and rest?”
What else could the duo say? They could only wait. When they sat down, they would glance at the young monk walking around the set. He looked nothing like an actor.
“Sigh, things are getting from bad to worse. Even Director Yu is caught up in the looks department instead of skill,” said Hu Xiao.
“This young monk looks fair and white. His refined and gentle looks make him quite the little sunshine. Unfortunately, it does not match the character that will bemoan the times and pity people. Sigh… He will definitely fail to look the part.”
The duo made one remark after another. From time to time, they would comment on Fangzheng. They felt he was ignoramus or naive… In short, Fangzheng sucked at everything.
Fangzheng, who was being the target of all of this, heard but thought nothing of them. He could stop their wagging tongues but could he stop their thoughts? They were entitled to their own opinion and it did not affect him.
On the contrary, the large equipment piqued Fangzheng’s interest. He had seen these things on the Internet, but he was finally seeing them in person. He naturally wanted to take a good look.
Lin Dongshi came over again and called Fangzheng to the side. He took out a script, “Venerable Fangzheng, this will be the scene in which you will be acting. The content is roughly this. Take a look first. Ask me if you have any questions.”
Just as his voice faded, someone shouted for Lin Dongshi. He had no choice but to leave.
Zhao Hongxiang and Hu Xiao were more disgruntled when they saw Fangzheng holding the script. Fangzheng was obviously recruited to shut their mouths!
They did not dare say it to Yu Guanze’s face. All they could do was grumble. As for Li Xueying, she was doing her makeup and had no time to meet them. They understood the situation and had no choice but to wait patiently.
Fangzheng found a rock and sat down. He too was curious about the plot. He did not understand it that well from simple verbal descriptions.
Fangzheng frowned when he read. It was not a typical script. To be precise, it was a novel. The novel’s plot had been simplified. It mainly described a story that happened in the historic setting of Northern Wei. The northern Rouran nomadic tribes constantly harassed the south. As a result, Northern Wei’s government decreed that a man from each family was to be conscripted and fight at the front lines. Hua Mulan’s father was advanced in his years and ill, making him unable to participate in the war. Her younger brother was still too young, Mulan decided to take her father’s place in the army. From that day forth, she began her military career that lasted for over ten years. Fighting at the borders was tough even for most men. As for Mulan, she had to conceal her identity while fighting the enemy with her brothers-in-arms. It made her life as a soldier even more difficult Thankfully, Hua Mulan eventually completed her mission. She returned with honors after twelve years. The emperor pardoned her for deceiving him because of her great accomplishments. Simultaneously, he recognized that she had the ability to serve the government and wished to give her an official post. Hua Mulan rejected to take care of her elderly father. She requested the emperor for a horse to carry her home, so as to make up for her parents and be filial.