Aria's Tales - 1.10
Shen Yan had gotten home to find Mingyan hold up in her studio. He froze at the entrance with one foot inside the room and his hand on the doorknob. The girl had tied her hair up into a bun and she was wearing a baggy peach long sleeve shirt with crumpled style pink shorts. He had prevailed for a few days in convincing her to stop wearing shorts after he had bought her a drawer full of pants, but he had long given up since she wouldn’t listen. Instead, he opted in making her promise to wear it only inside the house. At that, she did listen.
Mingyan was seriously working on the new album. Even Lily dared not disturb her even when she noticed that Shen Yan had arrived. Shen Yan also didn’t want to stop her, so he left and headed to the kitchen. He rolled up his sleeves and started to cook a soft scrambled egg topped on white rice. He also cooked some slices of bacon. It was the least he could do.
Then, he placed them in a tray and went back to the studio. Mingyan still hadn’t noticed him. Only when the smell of the scrambled egg and bacon entered her nose did she looked up in surprise at Shen Yan.
Shen Yan gave a heartwarming smile. “Don’t leave your stomach empty.”
The attack was too strong. Mingyan’s heart almost leaped out of her chest. There it goes again.
Lily: This time it’s real isn’t it?
Mingyan only stared at Shen Yan in a daze. She didn’t know what to do. She almost cried on the spot. Thankfully, Lily’s question woke her up from almost committing OOC and she made herself blush, pushing down her sentimental feelings to the furthest depths of her heart.
She nodded and scooted over the edge of the seat to give room for Shen Yan. She also carefully arranged the scattered papers on the table and placed them on the side.
The simple meal was finished quickly by both of them. Then Shen Yan patted her head. “Don’t stay too late.” And he left, along with the tray that had empty dishes and empty glasses.
Mingyan watched him leave with a complicated expression. Then she turned at her first song and looked at it carefully. She decisively revised it.
Shen Yan walked over to the balcony in his room. He dialled a string of numbers and patiently waited for the call to be picked up.
“Yes, Shen Yan? Did something happen?” On the other side, Aunty Chang held the phone to her ears while her other hand was raised like a stop sign to her husband, whose face looked like he was wronged.
“Aunty Chang, can we meet up early tomorrow instead?” Shen Yan’s posture straightened, and sweat formed on his forehead. He was too nervous that he didn’t notice the commotion in Aunty Chang’s side as she protected the phone from getting snatched by her husband.
“Oh? Why? Did something happen to Yan’er?” Uncle Gu finally stopped trying to get the phone from Aunty Chang’s hand, his face turned serious.
“It’s not that.” Shen Yan’s ears turned red as he thought carefully what he wanted to say. “Yanyan’s going on her first stage tomorrow… I wanted to come.” He held his neck in embarrassment. Thank god it was Aunty Chang who picked up the phone. Otherwise, Uncle Gu would have cursed at him instead.
Aunty Chang was stunned. Then she laughed out loud.
Her laugh only made Shen Yan’s ears turned into a deeper red. He could only clear his throat.
Uncle Gu was confused why his wife suddenly laughed. So this meant nothing bad happened to her princess right? What’s so funny talking with that brat anyway?
Aunty Chang was very pleased. Her attitude towards Shen Yan had turned gentler as she curved her eyes along with her lips. She smiled. “Alright, let’s meet up at noon tomorrow.”
Shen Yan sighed in relief. He was actually able to come tomorrow. He looked forward to Mingyan’s surprised expression once she saw him.
That night, Mingyan still chose to sleep with Shen Yan despite Lily’s and Shen Yan’s efforts to get her back into her room. The next day, Mingyan was also unable to convince Shen Yan to come to her live performance. Unbeknownst to her, Shen Yan was indeed going. He was just stubbornly keeping it a secret.
Her performance was scheduled at 4:00 p.m., but the rehearsals would start at 2:00 p.m. So Shen Yan left earlier than her, and she was once again picked up by Xiao Xi.
The contest was held in a grand hall that was also used in major theatrical plays. When Mingyan arrived at 1 p.m., there were already contestants waiting in either their waiting room, if they were famous, or in the lobby. Mingyan had her own waiting room. It proved that her popularity was definitely higher than most of the contestants.
But as she headed to her room, she met with Chen Rui. ‘Hayst, she really is the protagonist. Why is she still here?? She’s been in the entertainment world for a year already. She’s not a rookie.’ Lily said in exasperation.
‘The prerequisite was one and a half year. She’s qualified.’ Mingyan felt a bit depressed. She still hadn’t been able to get Shen Yan to come so her mood was a bit unstable.
Chen Rui’s eyes glowed with envy when she saw Mingyan open her room since she had to wait in the lobby. “My Identity” is supposed to be mine! She’s stolen my song! She gritted her teeth in hate, and her eyes showed her determination. I’ll get you this time, Gu Mingyan.
Mingyan had felt Chen Rui’s hate-filled eyes. And because she was in a bad mood, she indulged herself for once and turned to Chen Rui with a cold piercing gaze. She was definitely not acting like Mingyan at that moment.
Chen Rui was scared silly by that gaze. When her blank mind finally cleared, she became confused. What happened? She couldn’t remember why her heart was filled with terror, and she was sweating from the fear. She had to take deep breaths for a couple of minutes to calm herself.
Lily: Fufufufufu did you see that face? Hahaha that was amazing! Mingyan do it again!
Mingyan: *sweat* you do know I was OOC right?
Lily: Who cares! Come on ~ that was too good!
Mingyan: *sigh* That’s enough for this lifetime. I can’t be too obvious or the world would kick me out.
Lily: Muuu let’s just destroy it if it does then!
Mingyan’s already cold gaze dropped to a freezing degree. But as fast as it appeared, it quickly went away.
Mingyan: Lily. Restrain yourself.
The voice Mingyan used in her head was deeper than she usually used. Lily finally noticed that her master was angry. She didn’t know why, but she obediently complied.
The rehearsals went by quick. Nobody actually did a full performance. They just casually sang as the accompaniment adjusted their play according to each of the contestant’s preference.
Then, the contest started. The grand hall was filled to the brim, and in-between the stage and the audience, there was a little island where the judges sat.
The audience roared in excitement as the contest officially began with their first contestant. There were 10 contestants in total, and Mingyan was the 6th person to perform. She waited in her room patiently.
It seemed to be the calm before the storm as Xiao Xi barged into the room with a red face. Mingyan looked startled at her abrupt arrival.
“That Chen Rui sang “Say Something” before you!” Xiao Xi messed her hair in frustration. The worst part was that Chen Rui was the 5th performer to go onstage.
Mingyan’s eyes widened in surprise. But in her heart, she already knew. However, this kind of child’s play was really of no use. Mingyan only looked deep in thought for a few moments then turned with a determined look to Xiao Xi.
“Sis Xi. I only need a guitar.”
Xiao Xi was stunned. What was her artist trying to do!? But when she remembered the way this girl had handled the matter yesterday, she was only hesitant for a second. She nodded and immediately went to inform the staffs.
Lily: Good Luck ~
Mingyan: *smiles bitterly* It would’ve been better if he was here.
There were three knocks on the door. Then, she stood up and calmly walked out. Her unchanged demeanour startled the staff who had called for her. He thought that perhaps the girl had a backup plan. But as to how effective that was, it didn’t matter. That Chen Rui had already enticed the judges to favour her.
Mingyan didn’t care about the pity looks some staff were giving her. She took the classic guitar from Xiao Xi’s hands and stepped into the stage with a straight back. The blinding spotlight made her squint for a bit.
The audience silenced as soon as she came. Even the judges who were conversing enthusiastically turned serious all at once.
It was incredible. Xiao Xi watched as Mingyan controlled the crowd with just her presence and was endlessly amazed. Mind you, no matter how skilled you were as an artist, if you couldn’t draw your audience’s attention, then you’ve already lost.
Mingyan went to the chair at the center of the stage that was prepared for her in advance. She crossed her legs as she gracefully placed the guitar on her lap. She adjusted the mic closer to her lips and positioned her hands on the string. Then, she gently strummed the guitar.
So what if Chen Rui was the first to perform? So what if she sang “Say Something” as well?
Don’t people understand that it didn’t matter who came first, but that who was more talented? Chen Rui had the whole accompaniment to back her up, while she only has a guitar. Who was more talented, should be very obvious this way right?
Also, this was a good chance. She might as well promote her new song right here right now. Besides she was dying to let herself go and sing the song with her true emotions out in the open.
She started the song with a hum. And it was so ethereal that the people listening suddenly felt that they were floating over the clouds. As if on cue, smoke was released and floated just a few inches over the floor.
“I’ve seen so many years passed by like a train,
So many years of pain I’ve been lost in the faraway,”
The people were once again brought to her own world. They didn’t even care if they didn’t know the song she was singing since they were already gripped by the mood she created and coupled with her sweet voice.
“But now that I’m here,
There’s you who makes me feel like,
the lost things that I missed,”
Mingyan strummed her guitar louder this time and her voice also got louder.
“I just learned how to love,
And I’m falling for you,
I’m in love with you you you you you,
And all that I am,
All that I’ll be,
I’ll be yours~”
Mingyan vocally belted the last part. Her voice seemed so stricken with pain. Her eyes were teary though she refused to let the tears fall. And her face was etched into a frown.
Her voice faded as if she finally grew tired. And then the last notes of the guitar was played.
There were people sniffing in the crowd, while some just cried out. This result was enough.
Mingyan watched the crowd with her glazed eyes. She seemed to have gone into a daze. Then suddenly, the earphones attached to her ears made a sound. She hadn’t paid attention to it earlier so she didn’t know if Xiao Xi had given her instructions through the earphones.
“Yanyan.” To her disbelief, it was Shen Yan’s voice. “Yanyan, I heard you. I see you.” There was a sound of crying in the background proving his words. He seemed to hesitate in what he was about to say. “I see you sing-” wait that’s not it. Shen Yan shook his head. Had he gone dumb? He slapped his forehead to clear his thoughts.
“Yanyan,” he sighed with a heavy emotion, “I love you.”
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