In the afternoon, she barely had any scenes. Tomorrow, she’s participating in a variety show, but the schedule has already been negotiated with the production crew. But it seemed that even if she stayed, there would only be a few scenes left for her to film. 

This show was the top variety show in the country. No matter whether its rating or popularity, no other show could rival it. It was only because of her recent popularity that the show offered an olive branch to her. But at the same time, the episode this time had five regular members and five guests, either idols or those with capability. In terms of clout, she was the lowest in rank.

When she arrived at the quaint town where the show was filmed, Su Shen did not expect to run into Wang Cheng at the hotel. 

“Su Shen! What a coincidence, you’re also in this episode?” Wang Cheng took off his baseball cap and immediately walked from the hotel front desk to the entrance. 

Su Shen also smiled when she saw him and then asked Xiao Zhou to check in.  

By this time, a lot of staff members of the show and a few guests had already arrived at the hotel. Seeing the two of them chatting so closely, they all wondered who Su Shen was. After thinking for quite a while, they then remembered the trailer from two days ago. 

“Do you want to get dinner tonight? I’ll treat you!” Wang Cheng bumped her arm with a smile.

After a long drive, Su Shen was truly a little tired. She shook her head and said, “Not today; I’ll treat you next time.” 

“Promise then; you have to treat me to dinner next time, especially that steamed pork with rice flour*. I had others’ but it’s not the same taste as yours. What secret recipe did you use?” Wang Cheng followed her with curiosity. 

steamed pork with rice flour – fen zheng rou, search it up on Google if interested!  

When the elevator arrived, she walked in and glanced from the corner of her eye, “You already said it’s a secret recipe, how can I tell you?”

Her room was on the second floor. As her celebrity status was not as high as that of others, she stayed in an ordinary hotel room. For top stars like Wang Cheng, they stayed in a luxury suite. 

As she entered her room, Su Shen rested for a while and then called her Mom, telling her that she would go home for dinner the day after tomorrow. Just because she was busy earning money doesn’t mean that she should neglect her family.  

The regular members of this show were Zhang Qianqian, Yang Yun, Yuan Zheng, Zhou Jun, and Zhao Feng. Zhang Qianqian went the idol route and her acting was quite good, but she was never popular. Ultimately, because of this show, she blew up and rose to being one of the Four Dan actresses. As for Yang Yun, she was a child star and went the comical route, mostly filming bourgeois dramas. The other three regular male members all had a great variety show sense, and they all filmed movies, with only Zhao Feng filming modern dramas.

Apart from her and Wang Cheng, the other three guests were also well-known. For example, Deng Chun was a TV Emperor and Wang Chunxin recently won the Best Supporting Actress award. Ye Meng’s background was even more amazing. Although she was not very popular, her father was a well-known director. Despite spending so many resources on her, she was not popular. 

The online speculation about which best actor got arrested intensified online. All other matters in the industry were put on the sideline. Even the news of a B-list male actor having an affair did not cause much disturbance. No one knew when the matter would subside.

Early the next morning, Su Shen changed her clothes, got her makeup done, and went to the filming site. For this episode, it was an ancient theme, so she changed into a pink hanfu*. When she rushed to the filming site, the others had also changed into their ancient-styled costumes. Wang Cheng wore the uniform of an imperial bodyguard, wearing his hat comically.  

hanfu – traditional style of clothing for Han Chinese

After almost everyone arrived, the Director asked them to prepare for filming.  

Once filming starts for a variety show, it would continue to film all the way until the end. You also have no idea how the production team would edit in the post-production, so it was very likely that small things would be magnified. 

It was not until the cameras started rolling that the Director suddenly spoke, “Welcome to this quaint water town, everyone. Today, we are going to split into two teams to compete. Over there is a box, and those who draw out balls of the same color are automatically divided into a team. You guys will compete for clues through competitions, and then go into town to look for the unknown Master. For the team that first finds the Master, the production team will donate 100,000 books to rural towns in their names.” 

As soon as the Director finished his words, the group of people began to discuss in a murmur.

“As soon as I saw Su Shen, I knew that we’ll be in the same group. After all, our looks are on par!” At this moment, Yang Yun ran over grinning and held Su Shen’s arm. The others couldn’t help but chuckle. 

Seeing this, Zhou Jun pointed at her and teased, “Su Shen must want to refuse in her heart!”

After all, they were regular members of the show and knew how to liven up the atmosphere. Several other people also began to joke around, and when it was about time, everyone went to draw a ball.

As expected, Su Shen and Yang Yun as well as Wang Cheng, Yuan Zheng, and Deng Chun were in the same team. Yang Yun hugged Su Shen grinningly and chatted with her for quite a while. She was very friendly, and in less than two minutes, she said that she would add her WeChat once filming ended, and invited her to dinner.  

After dividing into teams, the Director spoke once again, “Okay, there’s ten beauties on stage right now. You have to find the one that can play the guzheng. The one that chooses the right person will get the first clue. Now, we will play rock paper scissors, and the winner gets to choose first.” 

When Su Shen saw the guzheng on stage, she felt a little sentimental. From where she was from, any young lady from a noble family would know a little bit of the guzheng and guqin*. But unfortunately, few people would learn it now.

guqin – a long zither with seven strings, plucked with the fingers

After playing the first round of rock paper scissors, it was Zhou Jun’s team who won. Whilst Yang Yun muttered, “I heard that the calluses of those who play this are very thick.”

“Not necessarily, there are two kinds of calluses on the left hand. The first is the callus formed when the pinky is plucked. The other is the callus formed when the index finger, middle finger, and right finger are plucked. But since you can wear fake nails now, it does not mean that the one who has the thickest calluses is the one that can play the guzheng.” Su Shen calmly explained, with her eyes falling on the candidates that were on stage. 

As her words fell, several other people looked at her with a strange expression, and Yang Yun couldn’t help but ask, “Do you know how to play it?”

Su Shen came to her senses when she heard that and noticed that the camera was pointing straight at her. She smiled at Yang Yun, “I know a little bit.”

“Usually those who know a little are actually very capable. Just like me, when people ask me if I can sing, I usually say just a little.” Yuan Zheng shrugged his shoulders narcissistically, and Yang Yun berated him jokingly. 

Three minutes later, Zhou Jun’s team finally picked someone. At this time, it was also Su Shen’s team’s turn. There were nine candidates left. But when Su Shen checked their hands one by one, she found that none of them was right. 

Director: “Ten seconds left!” 

“Hurry up, hurry up! Did you find the person?” Wang Cheng kept urging her. 

Su Shen shook her head. The others all cried out “ahh”. In the last few seconds, Yuan Zheng pulled the one with the thickest calluses out in a hurry.   

“AHAHAHA!” The other team laughed at them crazily. 

After seeing that they have selected their pick, the Director continued, “Next, we will invite them to play Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water*. Also, the team that chose the wrong person will receive an unknown punishment!” 

Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water – one of the top ten guzheng classics

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