Soon after Chu Yao left, the rain became lighten so everyone took the opportunity to run back to their classrooms which were located quite near the canteen.
As she entered the classroom, Lu Anran shook off the rainwater on her hair and joked around with Ji Ling.
The school also announced that due to the rain, the military training in the afternoon would change to self-study, making all, who were drenched in the rain, extremely happy with the outcome.
With one hand supporting her chin, Ji Ling held the notice that Long Yuxing sent over with the other hand and said, “Anran, do you know anything about this <Run, Melos!>?” She thought it would be one of the common ones like <Sleeping Beauty> or <Cinderella>… Who knew it would be this <Run, Melos!> which she has never heard of.
“<Run, Melos!> is a story by Osamu Dazai.” Lu Anran recalled and said, “It’s a story about trust.”
“Osamu Dazai? That “rogue” writer who committed suicide after writing <No Longer Human>?”
“Correct.” Lu Anran nodded.
“The competing role is Melos’ sister.” Ji Ling said.
“Yes, there are not many lines.” Lu Anran replied. “Just scenes of Melos returning home and the wedding, but they require pretty good acting skills.”
“Oh!” Ji Ling then pleaded, “Anran, can you rehearse with me?”
“….” Stunned, Lu Anran paused for a moment, then smiled, “If time permits.”
“Yay!” Ji Ling laughed and turned to pounce on Lu Anran.
“Wait wait wait!” Lu Anran hurriedly stretched out her hand to stop her. “You are thoroughly drenched, so let’s forget about it!” Ji Ling ran slower than Lu Anran, so she was also more soaked. Now she also felt aggrieved. Ji Ling pouted. She also didn’t wish for such short legs! Hng….
“But…..” Qin Shumo continued. “I remember <Run, Melos!> was a story set during the Greek civilisation and Melos did not wear any clothes when he was running…. How are they going to act….”
“There will be artistic improvisations!” Lu Anran laughed. She had thought of this problem when she read the original story in the past.
“The interview is on Friday afternoon. So nervous ah!” Ji Ling clenched both hands into fists. “Anran, why don’t you practice with me now.”
“Good idea.” Qin Shumo nodded in agreement, “Anyway, there is still time till class starts.”
“OK!” Lu Anran also nodded.
“Then I’ll start now ah!” Ji Ling cleared her throat. “Older brother, why are you back so early? Shouldn’t you only reach back tonight? Are….”
“Cut!” Lu Anran interrupted and said, “The tone of this scene should be hurried. Melos came in, staggering in tiredness. His sister is very worried about him, so when she questions him, she would be extremely worried and impatient. Moreover, the presence of Melos in this scene is to buy the things she will need for her wedding.”
“Oh….” Ji Ling nodded and read the script again, “Older brother, why are you back so early? Shouldn’t you only reach back tonight? Are you okay?”
“Everything’s fine. I still have some unfinished business in the city and have to go back immediately. Let’s hold your wedding tomorrow. Is it okay for it to be held earlier?” Lu Anran read Melos’ dialogue. Her tone was full of fatigue, vividly capturing and conveying Melos’ worries with her utmost efforts. Following the script, Ji Ling lowered her head slightly, biting her lower lips.
“Pfft…” Lu Anran could not help bursting out in laughter, “Ji Ling, are you a child that stole a sweet and was worried that someone would find out?”
“Don’t laugh at people la!” Ji Ling protested, “Then let’s switch. You play the younger sister. Let me learn from you!”
“Okay…..” Lu Anran shook her head helplessly.
“Erhm erhm…. Starting now ah!” Ji Ling placed the script on the table in front of her.
“Older brother, why are you back so early? Shouldn’t you only reach back tonight? Are you okay?” Lu Anran’s tone was impatient and surprised. Both her hands were clenched in front of her chest and her facial expression was full of worry.
“Everything’s fine. I still have some unfinished business in the city and have to go back immediately. Let’s hold your wedding tomorrow. Is it okay for it to be held earlier?” Ji Ling read these lines with the intonation and manner that Lu Anran used previously.
“….” Lu Anran did not reply, instead she slightly lowered her head and bit her lower lips. Her eyes glanced around, and her cheeks also became slightly flushed. That charming timid look was like a maiden who was anticipating her marriage and yet was full of worries.
“Are you unhappy? Even your beautiful wedding gown has been bought back. Go on, go and tell the villagers now that the wedding will be held tomorrow.” Ji Ling felt as though she was being pulled in by Lu Anran’s acting such that she was also experiencing the emotions of this scene.
“Why would I be unhappy?” Lu Anran acted excited, yet she also expressed her coyness and restrained character, bringing the role of the little sister alive.
Ji Ling stared in awe. After a long while, she said, “Anran, why don’t you go and act instead!”
“Hm?” Lu Anran gestured and gracefully declined, “I don’t have time.”
“Such a pity! You acted so well!” Ji Ling had a look of regret.
“You can too!” Lu Anran smiled. Only she knew how much effort she had put in to play this younger sister role perfectly. However, everything has passed, so she would rather forget about it.
“Anran, you could be an actor!” said Qin Shumo smilingly.
“Hurhur…. I’m not interested.” Lu Anran shrugged and continued coaching Ji Ling on her lines, tone and movement repetitively, and patiently.
On Friday afternoon, Lu Anran and Qin Shumo accompanied Ji Ling to the Student Union Activity Room. When they arrived, the others were already seated. After taking his seat, Feng Lixing looked around before speaking, “This year, First High’s school anniversary is also a centennial celebration. As many political bigwigs will also be coming, the school has attached a great importance to the stage play this time. Hence, we will be extremely strict when selecting various roles.”
“So, students who aren’t selected should not feel discouraged. It is not that you are not good enough, it is just that the requirements this time are indeed too strict.” Huang Ying added, “Now let’s start from Second Year Class A!”
The Second Year students acted one after another. There were some that competed for the role of Melos, there were others who competed for the role of Selinuntius or the King. As expected, there were still girls who came forward to compete for the role of the younger sister.
During their performance, Lu Anran looked around the Activity Room but she did not catch sight of Long Yuxing. She felt a little weird however, she did not bother too much about it.
When it was First Year student’s turn, the first to perform was Chu Yao from Class A. She had a good grasp of her lines and her expression was perfect. As judges, all the student union members could not help but nod.
The last to perform was Ji Ling from Class D. Before performing, Ji Ling held onto Lu Anran’s hand. Lu Anran also tightened her grasp, and smiled assuringly. In these five days, she practiced with Ji Ling every day for a short while. Ji Ling has also worked very hard, striving to mimic every tone and gesture of Lu Anran.
After going up on stage, Ji Ling’s first sentence in the dialogue attracted everyone’s attention. She was originally already quite short and had the look of a little sister hence, no matter if it was being worried or being coy, the expression was very suitable on her. After Ji Ling’s performance, everyone started applauding. There was no more need to consider, the role of the younger sister was most definitely Ji Ling’s!
Ji Ling went back to her seat next to Lu Anran with a shy smile.
After a brief internal discussion, the Student Union announced those who have been selected. The male lead was the class monitor of Second Year’s Class C, the female lead – little sister role was Ji Ling, and the groom role was taken by Feng Lixing…. Once the important roles were assigned, and the other supporting roles were assigned by the Literature and Art department.
Once all the roles were assigned, the meeting was adjourned. Lu Anran and Ji Ling held hands as they left the meeting room, while Qin Shumo followed after them with a smile.
Chu Yao gnashed her teeth as she glared at their backs from a distance. She will definitely get the role of the female lead! No matter what! With those thoughts, she ran after them and called out, “Ji Ling!”
They stopped and turned back towards Chu Yao, “What?”
“Congrats on getting the role of the little sister!” Chu Yao smiled with ease and poise.
“So?” Ji Ling was certain that Chu Yao was not simply here to congratulate her. She would never do such things hence she waited for Chu Yao to finish her sentence.
“Uh…. Well, since this is an important stage performance, why don’t I rehearse with you? I have time anyway!” Chu Yao beamed and said.
Lu Anran could not help but frown at Chu Yao’s words. They were exactly the same as her past life! So disgusting!
“No need.” Ji Ling immediately refused. “I have the omnipotent Dore-Anran (1) so I won’t need your help!” Ji Ling pulled at Lu Anran who was next to her and continued, “We are going back to our class now!” She then turned, dragging everyone along. Not even leaving Chu Yao a chance to continue the conversation.
Chu Yao gnashed her teeth and clenched both of her fists in frustration. This role should have been hers! It should have been hers! Did they assume that she will be stopped like that? A hint of ruthlessness flashed across Chu Yao’s expression. She then went back to the Activity Room where the key members of the Student Unions were still present. Chu Yao went over smilingly, “Erm… Could you please give me a copy of the script for the female lead role…”
“Doesn’t the female lead role belong to Class D?” Huang Ying asked.
“In case something does happen, I would like to be the understudy.” Chu Yao replied, “This is also a chance!”
“But….” Huang Ying was about to continue when she was interrupted by Feng Lixing.
“Give it to her!” The corners of Feng Lixing’s mouth rose slightly.
“……” Huang Ying flipped the booklets of scripts over and handed over the female lead’s script to Chu Yao.
After receiving the script, Chu Yao left after saying thanks.
“Interesting….” The corners of Feng Lixing’s mouth rose slightly. Seems like a lot of interesting things will happen in the School’s celebration this time ah! How exciting!
“Tsk!” The person in charge of Class A, Tian Tian, frowned and clicked her tongue. This Chu Yao…. better not create any trouble for her!
(1) Play on the cartoon character Doreamon.