MAIR – Chapter 77 – Li Yuan

Sorry I mixed up chapters when I scheduled publishing. Correct chapter below.

Chu Mei Bo successfully completed the exam and Shen Huai checked her score through his connections. Both Zhongjing Film Academy and Zhongjing Media University were ranked first in professional courses, and the result was not surprising to him.

In any case, Shen Huai felt like a weight had been lifted off his heart. 

After the art examination, Chu Mei Bo entered the program group of “Travel with History”. Before the official recording, all the actors had to attend classes in advance. In addition to a series of courses, such as classic verses, physique class, etiquette class, culture class and so on, Chu Mei Bo also attended the Beijing opera class under Mr. Xue’s personal guidance.

After passing the audition, Chu Mei Bo didn’t slack off when she went back. Especially regarding Beijing opera, “ten minutes off stage for ten years on stage” is not nonsense. Particularly this time, it’s not for a movie or TV series, in order to ensure the sense of substitution, many scenes are shot only once, which means that the tolerante for the actors’ fail rate is almost non existent.

Therefore, when Chu Mei Bo sang “Beating the Drum to Curse Cao” in front of Mr. Xue, even his face showed an amazed expression.

Xue Ling was also watching, thinking that if Chu Mei Bo didn’t perform well, she would have to laugh at her. Who would have known that after listening, she would close her lips and remain silent.

They are not only the best Beijing opera actors, but also the best fans. It was easy to know whether Chu Mei Bo sang well or not.

Mr. Xue said with emotion, “Last time I saw you, although it looked like you had talent in my eyes, your basic skills were not good enough. However, in just one or two months, you impressed me.”

Chu Mei Bo smiled and didn’t speak. Over the past few months, she had really paid a lot for this. She had been practicing in the gap between filming and learning, not only for the actor’s duty, but also for respecting the Li Yuan (eng. Pear Garden) people who always stick to it.

Li Yuan is the second issue of “Travel with History”.

In the era without films or television, people’s greatest pleasure was going to the theatre.

Therefore, the square platform became the place where the stories of the scholar, the young lady and the general were passed on, especially when it reached its artistic peak during the period of the Republic of China. There were several people who almost changed the whole history of Beijing opera, and their influence lasted until the present day.

Li Yuan intercepts one of the characters, taking the life of Yun Chuo Yi as the medium, telling about the prosperity and decline of the pear garden.

The main shooting place for this issue was specially selected in Mr. Xue’s theater in Mujiang city. With full support, Mr. Xue directly closed the theater for half a month to specially renovate it. Even the street next door was transformed into a scene from the period of the Republic of China.

Although Xue Ling didn’t act as an assistant, she also took part in the group performance this time.

After recognizing Chu Mei Bo’s level, Xue Ling’s expression finally calmed down, but she had a knot in her heart, and still had some difficulties getting along with Chu Mei Bo.

Chu Mei Bo didn’t care. During this time, she had become acquainted with several other assistant teachers, almost all of whom were from the National Theatre. Yu Guangping who was present when Chu Mei Bo auditioned for Director Yu, was also an actor at the National Theatre.

Both sides, no matter if it was in terms of the way of acting or of their attitude towards acting hit it off completely and Chu Mei Bo also learned a lot from them.

This issue was mainly about Yun Chui Yi and the history of Li Yuan, so they especially invited some teachers from the Beijing opera house to perform with Chu Mei Bo.

Shi Ren laughed and joked, “Junior Mei, we old guys are all carrying sedan chairs for you this time!”

When Chu Mei Bo had gotten to know them, she had learned that Shi Ren liked to joke, so she went back impolitely, “Teacher, then you have to hold it steady.”

“Ho! This girl!”

Next to him Yu Guangping also couldn’t help laughing, “You are so cheap. You can’t learn not to bend this Mei girl’s ear every time. It’s not a long lesson.”

Shi Ren was not angry with Chu Mei Bo, so he vented his anger at Yu Guangping and spat angrily, “This old Yu is usually the same as a mugger that talks a lot.”

The two have been good friends for many years, and they were full of witty words. Chu Mei Bo and several other teachers laughed along with them.

Shen Huai happened to see this scene outside the door. Smiling, he shook his head. Unexpectedly, Chu Mei Bo had become the favorite of the program group. However, Chu Mei Bo was more comfortable being with these elder teachers than when she was with her “peers” in the drama crew before.

He didn’t disturb Chu Mei Bo, and went back to the hotel first.

As a result, she only learned that Shen Huai had come, when she returned to the hotel after the rehearsal. 

Shen Huai said, “I saw you had a good time with some teachers, so I didn’t want to disturb you. How are your rehearsals recently? The script… How is it?”

Chu Mei Bo originally had a smile on her face, but when Shen Huai said this, she suddenly showed a touch of sadness.

Shen Huai’s heart tightened as he hurriedly asked, “Is there something wrong with the script?”

This is also the problem he was most worried about. As far as Shen Huai knew, in order to show the real history rigorously, the script writers had especially invited several professors from the History Department of Zhongjing University and experts from the National Museum as consultants to avoid problems to the greatest extent.

But even so, after all, along the long river of history, there must be some gaps.

This would usually be no problem, but Chu Mei Bo came from that era after all. In case of any real problem with the script, with her temperament, she would definitely bring it up, which would be troublesome. Experts must have historical data to support it, but if Chu Mei Bo refuted it just like this, it would make people think she was arrogant.

However, Chu Mei Bo just shook her head, “No, there is no problem with the script.”


Chu Mei Bo sighed softly, “I and Yun Chui Yi didn’t like each other, and have been rivals for so many years. I just didn’t expect that after I died, the person who swept my grave for me was actually her.”

As soon as Chu Mei Bo got the script, she read it all over, and she became more and more silent after reading it.

After her death, the domestic situation became more and more serious. Dongjiang was occupied, and there was a lot of danger. Yun Chui Yi, who lived in Zhongjing at that time and raised anti japanese funds through charity performances, was a thorn in the eyes of the japanese aggressors. However, she still risked her life to return to Dongjiang to pay her homage, almost losing her live as a result.

Later generations didn’t know about the past intersection and entanglement between them. They thought that the two women cherished each other and this is how it was passed down.

Chu Mei Bo wanted to say that they didn’t sympathize with each other. Yun Chui Yi clearly hated her, but she couldn’t say anything.

Chu Mei Bo whispered, “Sometimes I wonder if she is also like me. If her soul exists in the world and lingers, but sometimes I hope she didn’t have an obsession. Otherwise, how sad would she be when she sees all these things becoming like that.”

Shen Huai opened his mouth, but he didn’t know how to comfort Chu Mei Bo.

On the contrary, it was Chu Mei Bo herself who quickly calmed down. “I’m fine, I just wanted to express my feelings. You came here with an agenda. You must have something to tell me.”

Shen Huai nodded, “The tickets for Mr. Chu’s family have been booked for the beginning of March.”

Chu Mei Bo was shocked for a moment, and then reacted. He was talking about the biological father of this body. When she first met them, the couple were still arrogant. Now it looks like they will finally be able to solve this matter.

As soon as they left, their grudges with Chu Chu were over, and the last hidden danger about her disappeared. And the reason why all this could be done so quickly was thanks to Shen Huai’s contribution.

Chu Mei Bo said to Shen Huai earnestly, “Thank you.”

Shen Huai shook his head, “I am your agent, I have the responsibility to solve these things for you.”

Seeing that he didn’t care, Chu Mei Bo didn’t say anything, but kept these things in her mind and patted Shen Huai on the shoulder. “A thousand words go without saying. In short, you will be my brother from now on. No one can bully you, not even Junior Ye.”

Shen Huai: “…”

The next day was  the start of the official recording.

“Travel with History” was conducted in the way of fixed guests and special guests. Among them, there are three regular guests. The first one is Meng Honghe, the ace host of Beijing TV. He is calm and humorous and he is responsible for controlling the progress of the entire program. The second one is Yan Zhenxiong, a professor at the History Department of Zhongjing University. He became famous online for his approachable language and easy to understand lectures. The third one is an old acquaintance. He worked with Ye Cang before in the “Star of Tomorrow”, the singing and dancing king Qiu Jie.

The special guest of this episode was Fu Cheng, the movie emperor. Fu Cheng started acting at the age of 17 and at the age of 26, he won the Golden Ying Award. Now he was only 30 years old, which was his most attractive time. Besides, he was recently confirmed as the male lead in the movie “Red Actress” that has been in the limelight for a while.

The four guests came to the recording location early for makeup. Fu Cheng took the initiative to bring up the topic, “Three teachers, how on earth are we going to record this? I’m still not clear yet.”

Meng Honghe said with a smile, “To tell you the truth, we felt the same in the first phase, but you don’t have to worry too much, just enjoy a panoramic interactive stage play.”

When Fu Cheng heard this, he showed an interested  expression. “That sounds interesting.”

Qiu Jie chimed in and said, “Brother Cheng, I’ll tell you that this is a really amazing. You’ll see it in a minute.”

Fu Cheng was even more curious now that they said that.

By the time the recording time began, the four guests put on their clothes from the period of the Republic of China and walked all the way to the theater, according to the prompts of the program group.

The crowd stood in front of a red-painted gate.

Meng Honghe said with a smile, “If we open this door, we will enter the Rongxi Theater from the period of the Republic of China, witness the life performance of Yun Chui Yi, the most famous female performer at that time, and also witness the rise and fall of Li Yuan for nearly a century.”

Qiu Jie added, “We will give this great opportunity to our special guest today – Fu Cheng.”

Fu Cheng was pushed to the front by them. Inexplicably becoming influenced by them himself, he seriously pushed open the red gate.

After he pushed the gate open, everyone was stunned.

It was as if they had turned on the switch, and the quiet theater immediately began to move, filled with people in long gowns, many of them with braided hair, chewing melon seeds and drinking tea. The waiter carried a teapot with a long ladle to add water to the guests.

There was a lot of noise in the theater. The sound of gongs and drums on stage, and even the sound of applause was heard from time to time.

It was like a picture in the style of the Republic of China unfolding slowly before them.

Fu Cheng thought they were joking about the panoramic interactive stage play, but now that it all appeared vividly before him, he almost thought that he really had traveled through time and space.

Seeing Fu Cheng’s shocked expression, Meng Hong and the rest of them all smiled. After all, in the first episode, they also behaved like that.

Fu Cheng looked around curiously. “So this is the theater of the Republic of China.”

Qiu Jie also nodded and quickly entered the role, “In fact, I’ve been studying the integration of chinese style elements into singing and dancing recently. Now it’s a good opportunity to ask some Beijing opera masters for advice.”

Yan Zhenxiong, who has not spoken for a long time, said slowly, “If the masters know that you want to dance and sing Beijing opera, they may beat you up first.”

All four of them laughed.

At this time, a waiter greeted them and said enthusiastically, “How many guests are going to sit upstairs or in the lobby?”

Fu Chenglian said hurriedly, “It was not easy to come here. I also want to see what the opera garden of the Republic of China looks like. Let’s listen in the lobby.”

Meng Honghe nodded.

The waiter hurriedly shouted, “Four downstairs, serve tea and refreshments.”

With that, he led them to a table, wiped the table with a towel in his hand, arranged the tea bowl neatly, and poured tea for them. “Have a seat for a moment,” he said.

When the waiter left and the four of them were drinking tea, the feeling of shock passed, and they all gradually immersed in the play.

Fu Cheng naturally asked his neighbor, “Brother, what play will be sang on stage today?”

“You’re not from here, are you?” The man looked them up and down for a few seconds. “Then you came here at the right time. It will be Ms. Yun, singing her famous ‘Beating the Drum to Curse Cao’.” 

Next to him, someone said, “Ms. Yun’s voice is really amazing. There is no one in Dongjiang who can surpass her.”

“That’s right. What do you call it? The sound lingering for three days…”

Next, the people around them began discussing Yun Chuo Yi.

Yan Zhenxiong who had a profound knowledge of history, also took this opportunity to give them the brief history of popularizing Beijing opera and how to appreciate it.

Fu Cheng hadn’t listened to Beijing opera before. Because he got the part in “Red Actress” he got to learn a little bit, but he was still not interested in this kind of babbling opera, but because of the shooting, he acted interested.

At this moment, the gongs and drums on stage sounded.

All the enthusiastic people who had just been discussing below, shut their mouths and looked at the stage with a fanatical expression.

With the sound of music, a figure in a costume and a beard came out with “our general”.

As soon as he spoke, the music immediately stopped. 

Edited by : Taalia

Proofreader: Mochi Rabbit

Support translation:

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Zo Arai

    Ay, CMB.
    Ye Chang can’t possibly bullying Shen Huai, otherwise he’ll lose all of his positive value.
    Anyways, I can quite understand CMB’s feelings, but that’s just the reality of today’s society.
    Art must evolved itself in order to survive, but of course we should never neglected the history part.
    It’s a complicated process.

  2. Thanks for the chapter! I know some people throw shade at the artists who made classical music more popular (think Andre Rieu or Andrea Bocelli), or the initiative to show (filmed) operas in cinemas here in France, but all those initiatives are necessary because music knowledge, art, history, which are the soul of a society are being neglected in favor of more economy friendly subjects, making culture a rich person’s domain, which is terribly, horribly wrong…

    1. lajnaa72

      I agree …
      It matter of cultural heritage and common problem all over the world. But it scary to think, how many common skill is lost in our times. Just 50-80 years ago sewing skill was common and everyone could do it. But now…?
      Art like opera, ballet and classical music are still batter protected that some craftsmanship. Many of them were lost over time and nobody cares about them

      1. Since Notre Dame burned, people discovered that there was a terrifying lack of artisans capable of working on such a delicate project. So much knowledge has to be rediscovered from old books & revived, for the rest, only a few craftsmen exist. But at least it has inspired young ones to enter apprenticeships.

  3. Sarapbeh

    effort appreciated,thanks for the chapter.waiting for more

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