Volume 28: Bloodthirsty Muse
He An came to the hotel door, habitually adjusted his tie and cuffs, and smoothed his hair with his hands. As a celebrity’s manager, paying attention to his appearance had become his subconscious habit.
Opening the door, the room was messy, and the floor was full of discarded music sheets. His superstar Luo Zuyu was sitting on the sofa wearing a black singlet and ripped jeans with his hands separated and head tilted back. If the cigarette in his mouth wasn’t lit, He An would have suspected that he had died.
In addition to the smell of cigarette smoke and a mysterious smell, there was also another strange smell. It was the smell of drugs emanating from a person’s pores after he had taken the drugs.
The bridge of He An’s nose wrinkled a little. He grabbed a stack of sheet music on the table and threw it at Luo Zuyu, scolding, "You’re taking drugs again?!”
"Do you think that genius singers are only inspired by their fans’ love?" Luo Zuyu casually swept away the sheet music on his body, widened his bloodshot eyes, and ash from his cigarette fell on the paper.
He An was instantly enraged. He controlled his emotions, saying, "How many times have I told you that you must be cautious when you’re out of town? Three paparazzi can be hidden in a single trash can on the roadside. Especially in Long’an. Did you forget what happened here a few years ago? This place is in conflict with your bazi!"
"I haven't forgotten!" Luo Zuyu's gaze was instantly gloomy. "Fuck, that stinking bastard called Song Lang made the company cast me out into the cold for six years. Has he died yet?"
"He’s said to be missing," The manager said, while tidying up the place. "It seems like he shot a colleague by mistake and is now a wanted man."
"Ha, haha, hahaha!"
Luo Zuyu was happier than when he was taking drugs. He jumped up and moved elsewhere. He produced a tablet out of nowhere and started playing with it. The manager glanced at what he was doing and was so frightened that he broke out in a cold sweat. He immediately snatched it away.
The manager scolded in a low voice, "Why are these photos still here?! Didn't I ask you to delete them?"
"Those are my works. No, they’re works of art." Luo Zuyu looked up, raising his eyelids that were swollen due to lack of sleep. Because the power of the drugs that he took hadn’t passed yet, he continued to wear a dazed smile on his face.
"Hopeless!" The manager growled with anger. "If these things are leaked, it would be equivalent to ten nude photo scandals added up together! Do you want to die?"
"That's great." Luo Zuyu clapped. "Then I’d be even more popular. My name will be written down in history, haha, haha!"
"Your name will stink in history!" The manager was looking for the power switch on the tablet when Luo Zuyu snatched it back.
"Find me a girl. A young and sexy one. It’s best if it’s the type that nobody would take notice of even if she were to disappear."
"If you can’t even meet these requirements, how can you expect me to write a new song? Are you treating me like a cow that dispenses milk? Even cows need to eat grass!"
"I try my best to satisfy all your wishes. But do you have to do that kind of thing in order to write a song?"
"You still don’t know by now?"
The manager sighed deeply. "You mustn’t make trouble in Long’an."
"Song Lang is already gone. Who am I afraid of?"
"Be careful. I’ll tell your sister-in-law... No, I meant the boss!"
"Haha, haha!" Luo Zuyu laughed dryly. "Go ahead."
The manager cleaned up the room in annoyance, thinking that serving this master of his was really the worst luck of eight lives. When Luo Zuyu was really popular a few years ago, he had come to Long’an to hold a concert. It happened that a policeman named Song Lang was investigating a case and accidentally found out that Luo Zuyu had made some xx remarks on a semi-public occasion.
The management company took out seven million and wanted to buy back the evidence from the police, but Song Lang said ruthlessly to them, "As a public figure, when you say this kind of thing, you should think about the consequences. Don't you cry to me about how a star is human and makes mistakes too. People who have halos surrounding them like you are always being consumed by the masses. It’s a pleasure to see your rise in popularity. But it’s also a pleasure to see your destruction. No one will grieve for you. You should struggle as you fall into the abyss where you’re disdained by thousands. Perform your last show well and entertain your food and clothing providers, superstar.”
Song Lang had already given the video to the media before he told him this. The video brought about nuclear bomb-level consequences. Luo Zuyu lost several millions of fans overnight, and every portal was attacking him. In order to display their stances on the matter, other stars decided to draw a line distancing themselves from him resolutely. He became a target of scorn. That was aside from the huge reparations that were paid to companies who had previously employed him as a brand ambassador.
For seven years, not a single job notice or product endorsement opportunity came. The management company spent a lot of effort doing PR work. They talked about how Luo Zuyu went to the mountains to visit poor children. How Luo Zuyu issued a public apology due to the xx remarks. How Luo Zuyu had to sell his beloved guitar due to being broke and the like. They gradually turned around his image of being a badly criticized artist. There was a hint of his returning to Spring.
In fact, the manager knew his character better than anyone else. If his brother and sister-in-law hadn’t helped him, he would have been thrown into the trash can long ago.
After cleaning the room, the manager sniffed. There was always a weird smell. He was about to look for cleaning tools when he heard a snippet of music from somewhere in the room. It was a recording of Luo singing along while playing the guitar.
He turned his head in surprise and saw Luo Zuyu lying on the sofa. The music was flowing from his tablet. He bopped his head along with the rhythm and continuously tapped his fingers on his thighs.
Luo Zuyu raised his finger to signal that he should stop talking and continued to immerse himself in the music.
After the song was finished, the manager raised his fists in excitement and said, "That's awesome. l Celestial voice, catchy rhythm and tasteful lyrics. It’s like the songs from the era when you were at your peak! I can already imagine the reactions of those critics now. I can say with confidence that this song will definitely be a hit on the Chinese charts for the second half of the year!"
"Hmph, who do you think I am?" Luo Zuyu sneered arrogantly. "Help me find someone to arrange the melody as soon as possible. This time I’ll add some special remixes. Right, the task of cleaning up the mess will be left to you."
"Cleaning up the mess?" The manager looked at the drugs left on the ground. “Do you mean this stuff?”
Luo Zuyu pointed to the bathroom with a smile. The manager suddenly had an ominous premonition. He opened the door of the bathroom, and the stench hit him. The whole bathroom was red, and the tub was filled with internal organs and blood. A grossly mutilated body that was barely recognizable as a young girl was immersed in it.
The manager's stomach turned, and he grabbed a vase on the side and vomited into it. Luo Zuyu's laugh echoed in the room. "That's... A sacrifice to the muse! Clean it up for me. I'm going to bed."
The manager glanced at the bathroom again. It wasn’t an illusion. He felt dizzy. After taking a long and deep breath, he helplessly took out his mobile phone and dialed his boss's number. "Something’s happened."
"Yes, it's him again... PR level S!"
The female voice on the other side inhaled sharply. "Has the news leaked?"
"That's good. Stay there and don’t even take one step away. I'll bring the team over right away."
1. It’s a form of superstition in which a person’s fate is dictated by his date and time of birth. Some people believe that a person’s bazi can be bad or good for certain people. E.g. “Her bazi would bless me with lots of wealth if she were to marry into my family. However, the same bazi would make that dude die if she were to marry him.”
2. The literal translation is for people to be put in the freezer. It means that they’re barred from any jobs and opportunities. Most artists sign a contract where they’re only allowed to be part of a particular company and can’t work for another company for years on end. However, if they’re cast away like that, not only do they still have to stick with the company, but they wouldn’t be able to make any money or make a name for themselves during that time. They talk about “freezing” them because when an artist is popular, they say they’re really red and hot, like fire. So they’re just opposing slang terms.
3. Another way to talk about fans. If fans don’t purchase tickets, the stars won’t get any money in order to provide for themselves.
4. The author previously mentioned six years instead of seven.
5. It just means that he’s getting revived. Also, potentially a play on his getting frozen previously (cast aside).
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