Edited by DancingDolphinsYo
AOW’s first behind the scenes video was posted online three days later. In an hour, the views exceeded one million, and brought about great promotion for the upcoming showcase. The company had also assigned two popular members of V-Wish, a girl group who was their senior in the company, to participate in their showcase as special guests. As such, the first performance of AOW after their debut was sold out within five minutes.
After their training, the members would also go online to look at the comments on the videos. The fans were very eager for the group’s performance as well as their solo items. This was especially the case for Sui Yi’s and Fang Yu’s dance, due to their popularity and the support of fans who shipped them together. The behind the scenes video which was only about a minute or so had been edited over and over again by the fans to drool over it, and everyone held a lot of anticipation for their performance.
However, something unexpected happened on the day of the showcase. Fang Yu suddenly felt unwell, calling to say that he was unable to participate in the performance. The whole situation was very urgent, and Zhang Fan asked what happened to him. Fang Yu’s voice was weak, and faltering, he said that he really was unable to attend. Running over to his place to take a look, An Lin returned and confirmed that Fang Yu was really quite sick, unable to even get off his bed. With no other choice, Zhang Fan could only give up, and she asked An Lin to bring a camera over to Fang Yu’s place to record a short clip for their fans. After that, she summoned the rest of the group for an emergency meeting.
“Fang Yu’s solo performance was to sing a song. It’s too much of a rush if we give you another performance to prepare now. I’ll contact V-Wish to hurry up and prepare. They have many songs, and they can pick one randomly to use it as a stop-gap.”
The group nodded their heads, agreeing.
Zhang Fan’s brows were tightly knitted. With her arms folded, she stroked her chin. “As for Sui Yi’s and Fang Yu’s dance… We’ll change it to Sui Yi’s solo performance then. I’ll get the staff to find a violin for you.”
Just as she finished speaking, Sui Yi refused resolutely. “I’m not playing the violin.”
Ning Lan sneaked a look at Sui Yi, only to see an unhappy look upon his face. The look in his eyes was grim, and he did not seem to be joking.
Zhang Fan knocked on the table, speaking sternly, “The situation is very urgent now. As the leader, you should place utmost importance on the group’s interest. Furthermore, giving you a chance to display your talents is only beneficial to your popularity, and there isn’t any harm.”
Sui Yi spoke without inflection, “This has nothing to do with team spirit. Before I debuted, I had already requested not to include my violin-playing in my profile, but the planning team took things in their own hands. I will never play the violin.”
Seeing how staunch he was, as well as how the company was in the wrong for having done that, Zhang Fan pressed her palm to her forehead for a moment, then compromised. “Fine. Then this dance cannot be cut away, if not, the audience would have things to say if the showcase isn’t long enough.”
Zhang Fan surveyed the group, and her eyes locked on Ning Lan. “We’ll replace Fang Yu with Ning Lan then. Previously, when you were shooting the video, Ning Lan danced along as well, and I remember that you did quite well. There’s still some time before the showcase starts, you’d better go over it properly with Sui Yi.”
Ning Lan tensed, his temples pounding. “No, better not. I’m not good at dancing, why don’t they take over…” He pointed at Gu Chenkai, Gao Ming and the rest standing on the left.
“Lu Xiaochuan is too tall, while Gao Ming and Wang Bingyang already have a dance performance. Gu Chenkai’s temperament doesn’t match the dance, and you’re the only one left.” Zhang Fan gave a well-grounded analysis.
Ning Lan was breaking out in cold sweat. How could he be the one to take over Fang Yu’s spot? Ignoring the issue of whether he would be able to dance well, with the extreme popularity of the pairing of Sui Yi and Fang Yu, Ning Lan did not have the guts to survive until the end of the dance.
“What the fans want to see is Lead dancing with Xiao Yu. If I take over, they’ll definitely be unwilling to watch it anymore.” Ning Lan continued to struggle against the decision.
“How do you know that they would be unwilling? To cut off a highly anticipated performance would be even more infuriating. This is currently the best solution. Previously, you hadn’t been assigned any solo performance, and now it’s time for you to exert yourself for the group.” Zhang Fan glared at Ning Lan threateningly.
Ning Lan dared not say a word anymore.
In Green Tide Hotel, Ning Lan finally decided to not attend the gathering. Crouching by the door, he gave Zhang Fan a call. Zhang Fan scolded him very badly, but still helped him settle it in the end. As such, Ning Lan did owe Zhang Fan a big favour accordingly.
Fine, he would just dance then. Ning Lan braced himself, following Sui Yi to a practice room.
Today, he had tied his fringe into a little stump at the top of his head as usual. Perhaps because he was too nervous, after a move where it involved Ning Lan being lifted up, his legs turned weak as he landed. Ning Lan fell forward, and his forehead accidentally bumped into Sui Yi’s lips.
“Sorry, I didn’t do it on purpose,” Ning Lan hurriedly explained.
Sui Yi tried his best to ignore his burning lips. Averting his eyes, he said, “It’s fine.”
The two people continued practicing. When Xu Rui, the dance teacher, finally had the time to see them, they went through the entire dance once. The music ended, and she stood up clapping, gratified. “This is exactly the mood I’ve been asking for.”
Ning Lan was confused and asked Sui Yi, “What mood?”
Sui Yi shook his head, saying that he did not know.
During noon, except for Fang Yu, the six people of AOW gathered together for lunch. The youths were both nervous and excited, and at that moment, they had no interest in the internal conflict amongst themselves. After the meal, they came together and practiced their two group dances a few more times. Without Fang Yu, there was a gap, and the company thus assigned a dancer to work with them. Everyone devoted themselves to the practice, and during the final rehearsal before the showcase, there was no mistake to be seen.
Their outfits finally arrived, leaving less than two hours to the showcase. The youths were styled backstage. Sui Yi’s hair was dyed black again and combed to the back, revealing his full forehead and deep set features. Along with the suit he was wearing for the start of the showcase, he looked extremely fit and handsome.
Ning Lan untied his fringe. The stylist wanted to fix his fringe to the side, but Zhang Fan gave an instruction when she walked past. “Don’t touch Ning Lan’s fringe, just let it be. Later on, he has to change to another hairstyle for another performance.”
At the start, Ning Lan was still confused. He did not remember that he needed to change to another outfit, only to be enlightened when he saw the clothes prepared for the performance he had to do with Sui Yi.
It was a long, black dress, completely unlike something a male would wear. A wig was even attached to it, with blond, flowing locks. When placed on his head, the length of the wig reached his chest.
Ning Lan ran over to Zhang Fan, asking if there was a mistake. Zhang Fan blinked at him. “You didn’t know that you would need to crossdress?”
Ning Lan was speechless. He was not the one dancing in the first place, how would he know?
Zhang Fan patted his shoulder in consolation. “That’s why I said that other people would not be able to do it. If you’re not fair enough, you’d be a piece of coal in this dress. But for you, you’d be like a fairy coming down to earth.”
Ning Lan: “…”
The compliment did not make him any happier.
However, it was not like he could not do it. It also could not be considered sacrificing himself in the name of art. Ning Lan took it as it being part of his job.
However, upon remembering that Sui Yi was straight, Ning Lan would feel a little awkward.
Ning Lan found an unpopulated corner to try on the dress. It was tight-fitting, and the bottom slit went up very high, all the way to mid-thigh. As for the top half, from the chest to his shoulders, the dress was made of a translucent lace. Looking in the mirror, embarrassment slowly welled up in him.
Ning Lan tugged the dress down, and he nearly exposed his nipples. When he tugged it up, his buttocks were nearly revealed.
With a red face, he thought, the performance would only be about five minutes. All he had to do was to endure it.