In the New Era, many innovations in technology and means of transportation had rapidly upgraded, and many older methods had been phased out, but cruises had sentimental value and were a holiday option, so they continued to exist.
The sun gradually disappeared beyond the point where the ocean met the sky, and night descended.
Teasandsea Cruise Ship No. 9 was just like a small city-state traveling on the seas. All sorts of activities could be done on board, ranging from exercise, shopping, leisure, to entertainment and many more. Guests could enjoy to their heart's content for the entire duration of their vacation.
As sunlight completely disappeared, the cruise ship's lights still shone brightly, sparkling in the dark night.
At the back of the ship, a song and dance performance was currently being held in the open-air theater.
Fang Zhao was standing at a high place, carefully scanning the area, but he did not catch a glimpse of Nova Roman at all. Fang Zhao had decided to do a quick scan before moving off. The auction was about to start and Fang Zhao had seen a number of film stars. Competition was intense; they were all probably trying to look for Director Roman too and wanted to win the lot that Roman had put up for the auction. Perhaps Roman himself might be present.
However, just at the moment that Fang Zhao decided to leave the open-air theater area, a large screen on the side displayed a notification that a guest was going to be performing here.
Every performance held at this theater had already been arranged beforehand. The program list was displayed on the large screen at the side, but if a guest wished to go on stage and perform midway, only those who had gone through an audit and had sufficient qualifications could cut the line and go on stage to perform.
Fang Zhao was slightly astonished. He had never expected to encounter this talented musician here.
This person was from Jizhou. In the past, Fang Zhao had only seen news about this individual online, mostly push notifications about entertainment gossip. An example was like this: "Talented performer's number X girlfriend of the year appears," or some gossip about him being intimate with some other celebrities.
Disregarding his personal life, performancewise, Fay Harmonik was indeed talented, and many older generations acknowledged this.
During Fang Zhao's first concert in August, Xue Jing had brought along a few old friends. Among them had been an old man who especially loved violins. He had mentioned this junior Fay Harmonik a lot whenever he had talked. As long as the person in question's private affairs were not too excessive, they would regard talent more highly.
Harmonik had made a name for himself when he had been very young. This was something those old seniors frequently spoke about. Harmonik was one of the few people who had held their first concert when they were only 10+ years of age. When he had been in secondary school, Harmonik had held his first high-level concert, and even now, after more than 30 years, his status in the music circles was still rising year after year. He had also received an invitation to join the "Founding Era" music team.
There were many young and outstanding musicians, so when Fang Zhao saw Fay Harmonik's name, he stopped in his tracks. This was the first time he would get to listen to a live performance by this talented musician that many of the older seniors praised so highly.
A head full of dyed fiery-red shoulder-length hair was Fay Harmonik's trademark. Normally, his words and actions seemed like those of a noble gentleman from the Old Era, but the moment he started performing, he appeared extremely passionate and deranged.
The charm of a violin was undeniable. Some people loved how it could be used as an effective instrument to stir up emotions and transmit exquisite feelings, but there were others who loved the acute aspect of it.
Although the current accompaniment could not be compared to the luxury of a formal concert, it combined classical and rock 'n roll in an upbeat tune. The speed and precision gave listeners a sense of vertigo. As the enthusiastic atmosphere dispersed, the flamboyant movements of the bow created a raging tempest that assaulted the senses, not giving listeners any slight moment to catch their breath as they worried that the bowstring might snap abruptly!
The quivering of the bow displayed the innermost surging feelings of the performer. Even someone not belonging to the industry would find it dazzling, as if the whole stage was on fire.
This was a theatrical performer's method of combat!
It could be said that the majority of people who had seen Fay Harmonik perform praised him to high heavens... except for people from Leizhou.
When most people from Leizhou saw Harmonik's performances, subconsciously, they would think about something else.
Because in Leizhou, there was a Zaro.
When Zaro had been in secondary two, he had already been very famous in Leizhou. Because of his tendency to voice his thoughts and his illustrious family background, he'd had tens of millions of people following his social platforms. From a young age, Zaro had been an internet celebrity, and the citizens of Leizhou were all too familiar with him!
It could be said that any celebrities outside Leizhou, even if they were world-renowned superstars would not be as popular as Zaro in Leizhou.
Even if Fay Harmonik had already made a name for himself and frequently appeared in entertainment and fashion magazines all over the world, his impact in Leizhou wasn't that big.
Once, Zaro had watched a performance of Fay Harmonik and posted a status on his social platform: "He saws really well, but I have a nagging doubt. When he is pulling his bow in that deranged fashion, how does he play while flinging his head back without sawing off his own hair? If there was a person standing beside him, wouldn't that person get hit in the face?"
Fay Harmonik's trademark shoulder-length hair indeed puzzled a lot of people. That's not to say that it wasn't acceptable, but many performers who kept long hair would tie it up or put it in a bun during performances. However, this individual strayed from the norm and loved to be this willful.
Thus, Zaro had spent the entire duration of the performance studying the topic of "How can he safely play the violin in that deranged fashion" and the Leizhou citizens who followed Zaro's trends had also been swayed toward it.
Actually, there were a number of people who'd already had these same doubts, but they had never voiced said doubts. Even if someone had voiced their doubts, as they did not have significant influence, not many people would have agreed. But Zaro had ignited this fuse, and the topic had exploded.
If it had been anybody else who had said this, Fay Harmonik would have stepped out to teach that person a lesson, but it just so happened that this was Zaro of Leizhou's Renault family! A sh*t-stirrer! What else could he do?
From then on, Fay Harmonik had placed Zaro on his blacklist and had never again performed in Leizhou.
Fay Harmonik was a highly sought after person in the music, entertainment, and fashion circles. In the eyes of his many female fans, Fay Harmonik was an attractive and rugged star with flowing long hair. As for Zaro... his level of being vocal had also increased.
If Zaro was here, he would probably have started sharing his thoughts already.
After the song being performed on the stage concluded, the audience erupted into passionate applause and shrieks.
"Look over here!"
"Fayfay, another song!"
Fay Harmonik's fans lovingly called him "Fayfay," as it was easy to remember and was considerably more intimate.
After his performance ended, Fay Harmonik smiled and waved at the surrounding audiences. When he stepped off the stage, he was immediately surrounded by a bunch of hot and pretty girls.
As he left the venue, Harmonik caught sight of Fang Zhao. He evidently recognized Fang Zhao and paused for a moment, but very quickly, he looked away, so nobody around knew exactly who he had seen.
"Fayfay, saw someone familiar?" somebody asked.
"Not familiar, just a stranger A, 1 " Harmonik said absentmindedly.
There had been a period where there was a lot of news reports pertaining to Fang Zhao. Although now there was all sorts of news replacing it and making news about Fang Zhao appear "forgettable," not too long ago, Harmonik had heard his own teacher mention this up-and-coming youngster, so naturally, he could recognize Fang Zhao.
However, Fang Zhao's status was not to the extent that he needed to go over and exchange greetings. From his point of view, Fang Zhao was just a prominent stranger A he had come across on this vacation and wasn't really any different from other guests.
Throughout Fay Harmonik's musical career, he had seen many stranger A's, stranger B's, C's, D's... and it wasn't worthwhile to pay them any heed. Thus, he quickly shoved this matter to the back of his mind and followed the bevy of beauties to have a pleasant night.
Fang Zhao glanced at the program schedule at the side. Currently, there were no other guests heading up to perform, so he did not stay any longer. Turning around, he started walking to the nearest restaurant. He would have a meal before heading straight to the auction venue.
As he was about to step into the restaurant, the doors opened and someone came out. This unfolded right in front of Fang Zhao's eyes, and his mind immediately went blank.
The person who had emerged from the restaurant seemed middle aged. Perhaps from not having smooth experiences in the past, he looked somewhat beaten. However, with the help of fine clothing and the influence of his mental state, he appeared high spirited, as though he had overcome the vicissitudes of life.
Of course, what attracted Fang Zhao's interests was not the other party's clothing but that face!
That face that was exactly the same as Fang Zhao's face in his past life.
If Fang Zhao were to make a comparison between his current face and the face from his previous life, it would only be about 70%, but the person in front of him had actually achieved a similarity of more than 90%! With some slight makeup, this person's face would be exactly the same as Fang Zhao's past face!
The other party's gaze fell on Fang Zhao, and he noticed Fang Zhao being flabbergasted. His eyes flickered in understanding and he confidently said, "You are also here for the role."
Ruan Shuang was an actor from Jinzhou. Although he had decades of acting experience, he still did not have a reputation. He had acting chops, but he couldn't be considered top-notch, and appearancewise, he wasn't that attractive either. Having strived for decades, he still hadn't achieved much. Luckily, his managing company had not given up on a poor actor like him. Having grinded for a few decades, Ruan Shuang had given up on the glorious dream of being a star and would just survive on his company's welfare.
Ruan Shuang knew that he looked like Yanzhou's leader during the Period of Destruction. But as there were very strict rules regarding that history, nobody dared to film anything about that subject matter, especially when there were very strict audits when it touched upon actual leaders during that time. Even when other people from his company talked about Ruan Shuang in private, they would say: "Even if you look like him, what can be done?!"
But who would have expected that with the reboot of the revolutionary film project, "Founding Era," a transparent actor like Ruan Shuang would be dredged up by the company! Moreover, the company now prioritized his development!
Nowadays, Ruan Shuang's company was spending huge amounts to groom him. The company's first objective was to fight for the role of "Fang Zhao" in "Founding Era"!
Given Ruan Shuang's influence and status within the industry, snatching the role was very difficult, but who could know how things would turn out without trying?
Even if he could not get that role, what about being a body double? Just getting into the "Founding Era" film project was a gargantuan achievement!
Taking a step back, even if he could not land a role as a body double, with the start of the revolutionary film project, "Founding Era," that signified that the subject of the Period of Destruction and the true history of those leaders were being revised and that restrictions would be relaxed. The policies were changing! In the future, there would be even more such dramas and movies related to this subject. Ruan Shuang would be able to exhibit this face of his!
A special type of actor!
Could any random person be able to do this?
This was also the reason why, on the whole, Ruan Shang's mental state was entirely different now. His value had risen!
Ruan Shuang noticed that Fang Zhao was still staring at him, or to be more precise, at his face, and he could not help but feel somewhat pleased. He might not be high up on the attractiveness index when compared to other popular stars, but who let him be born with a face like a martyr's? It was completely natural—no plastic surgery, no prosthetics, it was just like that! Envious? Jealous?
Back then, during the online voting activity for the role of "Fang Zhao," Ruan Shang had not been on the list of candidates. However, that online vote had only been spontaneous entertainment for netizens and didn't count for anything. Even if the topic "Let Fang Zhao play the role of Fang Zhao" had gained a lot of traction and there had indeed been many votes for Fang Zhao, how many voters had actually felt that Fang Zhao could act?
It had merely been for laughs.
Ruan Shang could not help but compare himself with the Fang Zhao in front of him.
One with the same name and one with the same face. Who had the advantage?
Naturally, it was the face!
Ruan Shuang walked over to the railing and chugged a mouthful of wine. Viewing the open-air theater stage below, Ruan Shuang was seemingly immersed in the performance. His face appeared slightly intoxicated, but the words that came out of his mouth were cold. "Fang Zhao, I guess? A word of advice from Uncle. Give up on this dream. There is no way you will get selected for the drama. You are too young, and you aren't even an actor. For this sort of high-level project, Director Roman will not use a newcomer for such an important role, let alone a newcomer from a different industry."
Pausing for a bit, he eyed Fang Zhao and continued when Fang Zhao did not appear to have much of a reaction. "I'm not criticizing you. My status isn't high enough, and it will be difficult for me to even snatch the role. But my motive is to be a special type of actor, just playing the role of Fang Zhao. Even if I don't get selected for "Founding Era," there will be other paths. What about you? From what I see, in this fight for the role, you have even fewer advantages than me."
Even Leizhou's Renault family's senior master had been unable to get any good roles inside "Founding Era." For the role of "Fang Zhao" in the series, even the slightest of slipups could not be tolerated.
Or could it be that you have thicker skin than Zaro? Perhaps your backers are even more solid? From Ruan Shang's point of view, although Fang Zhao had had a growing reputation over the last two years and he had raised his global profile, he could only be considered an internet celebrity, and when compared to an internet celebrity like Zaro, who was the son of an aristocratic family, the difference was vast. Even Zaro had been unable to land a satisfactory role. You, Fang Zhao, can only be considered a fart! Don't you even have a f*cking idea whether you can even get selected?
"How much do you know about this 'Fang Zhao' person? If you want to fight for this role, you don't just go about it by having a little online fame and having the exact same name. Do you know about the contributions of 'Fang Zhao,' his battles? How much do you understand about his temperament, the way he thinks, his lifestyle habits? If you want to vie for such a role, you need to put in time and effort, to study meticulously. You have to constantly improve, throw away any ego you originally had! All of these! How much have you prepared!?"
Ruan Shuan drank more wine. He had said quite a lot while Fang Zhao had quietly listened at the side. Ruan Shuang reckoned that his words had had some effect and had influenced Fang Zhao's decision, that this youngster now had the intention of backing off, but in fact, currently, Fang Zhao's emotions were considerably complicated.
He did not know the name or history of the person in front of him who had the exact same face as his past life's, yet here this person was making a solemn vow saying that he wanted to be a special type of actor and play the roles of Fang Zhao, even advising Fang Zhao himself to read more historical resources to understand the character.
There were words Fang Zhao chose not to speak and held back in his heart. Pardon me for being blunt, but whether it's 500 years ago or right now, nobody understands me best but me. I don't have to throw away any ego I had because it is still me.A chinese slang, someone more prominent than a normal stranger.