Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 33

Chapter 33 – Returning Gifts

“Well, well, we have plenty of time to slowly poke at the gossip later, but for now, we’d better let Renly go back to rest.” Stanley came out from backstage, and saw Renly surrounded by everyone in the middle, and clapped his hands, after attracting everyone’s attention, he started to disperse the crowd.

The Pioneer Village closed an hour ago, and yet after closing the doors, everyone stayed behind with Renly, enthusiastically discussing everything that had happened in the past six months, the passage of time having been completely forgotten.

“But “later”, Renly is going to be a big star, and we won’t have a chance.” Neil took the lead and yelled blindly, sparking a lot of uproar from everyone.

Stanley, however, did not buy it in the slightest and gave Neil a direct hit on the back of the head, “Even now, you don’t have a chance.” The same words, different interpretations, everyone froze, and then collectively laughed, while Neil had a resigned look on his face. He then rose to his feet and waved his hands, “Who knows? Renly, don’t you agree?”

Not waiting for Renly to answer, a few men rushed forward and dragged Neil away, “Don’t make things difficult for those involved here.”

Looking at Neil’s wretched appearance, Renly raised his voice and shouted, “Alicia is hiding in the bathroom, hugging the toilet and crying.” Alicia is Neil’s girlfriend, a kindergarten teacher, who often comes over to the Pioneer Village to hang out, and everyone is very familiar with her.

Renly’s teasing made everyone laugh, and then more ridicule and banter came one after another.

“Go home early and get some rest.” Stanley patted Renly’s shoulder, “Long flights are always a torture.”

“I slept all whole way here.” Renly, however, was not too tired and replied with a smile.

“Ha. I should have expected that.” Stanley was also in a very good mood tonight, “But it is time for me to go back and rest, my heart is complaining.” Normally Stanley would have gone back around twelve, but today because of Renly’s return, he also stayed at the bar with everyone drinking two rounds of beer.

After confirming that all the windows of the bar were clean, Renly then locked both the back and front doors, and he was ready to go, being the last one to leave the Pioneer Village.

When he returned to his residence, the cold air in the house made Renly shiver, the house was dark, without any trace of life, and the temperature seemed to be lower than outside. After switching on the lights, one can clearly see the thin layer of ash on the coffee table and sofa, and it seemed that Chris Hemsworth has not been at home for a long time.

Walking to the coffee table in the middle of the living room, there was a white sheet of paper with a line written with carbon pen in a big, bold way, “Haha! Please call me the hero!” All the words were written in capital letters, and even just by looking at the note, one could clearly feel the ecstasy inside Chris’ heart.

It looks like he achieved his ambition after all, got the role and is about to headline his first Hollywood production.

At the bottom of that sentence, there was a note, “Cue: Sean Bean.”

British actor Sean Bean is definitely a big name, his tough guy attitude and delicate acting style have earned him an unshakable place in Hollywood, as seen in “Patriot Games”, “James Bond: GoldenEye”, “National Treasure”, “Troy”, “Silent Hill” and “Lord of the Rings” series, and of course, the famous “Game of Thrones”.

To be able to work with Sean, and also become the male lead. No wonder Chris is so excited.

Renly couldn’t help but smile in disbelief, genuinely happy for Chris, putting the note back on the table, he picked up the carbon pen next to it and wrote his comment, “Hot” at the bottom as a way of congratulating Chris. Then, Renly chose to go shower first, wash away all the dust and exhaustion, to truly feel the familiarity of being home.

Despite sleeping on the plane all the way over, Renly got sleepy and was prepared to lie down under the covers to accept the call of the night, but his eyes fell on the acoustic guitar in the corner, and his steps could not help but pause.

Although the days in Pioneer Village were always very relaxed and happy, but these feelings were particularly strong tonight, the bond between them didn’t get weaker, actually the complete opposite thing happened, their bond got stronger.

Renly knew what Stanley was talking about when he said, “the gift”, it wasn’t the performance on stage, but the actual recording of the music.

Stanley is a man who cherishes talent, as evidenced by the way Pioneer Village operates and the way it selects its performers. When Renly first came on stage to save the day, Stanley was beyond surprised and excited to give Renly a chance to perform, and literally step on stage and have thirty minutes of his own. But Renly declined.

The reason is simple: for him, music is just a pastime, a distraction, a relaxation. The source of his passion has always been acting, and this has never changed, at least for the time being, and there are no signs of that changing.

Stanley was extremely stifled, he was a man truly passionate about music, in his opinion, there is not a thing in the world that can be compared to music, so every time he saw a talented or persistent dreamer, Stanley would always be supportive. After that, he half-jokingly, half-seriously, repeatedly mentioned this matter to Renly, his perseverance made Renly a little helpless, but also a little moved.

Renly knew that Stanley was just a man with a lot of passion for music, just like he has a lot of passion for acting.

After thinking about it, Renly walked over to the bed, picked up the guitar in the corner, patted the dust off it, and turned on his computer, deciding to record “Cleopatra” as a gift to Stanley. After all, he still owes Stanley a Christmas present, and, St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon, isn’t it?

After entering the new century, along with the strong rise of social networks such as the YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other, online digital audio sales network gradually improved, as well as a series of progress in electronic recording equipment, led by Apple computers, even smart phones can complete the recording of music, more and more grassroots singers, as well as independent singers began to emerge in force. This is also the inevitable development trend of entertainment and can also be seen in the establishment of “American Idol” and other music talent shows.

For independent musicians, the lack of advanced professional recording equipment is not a problem, modern technology solves all the problems, what they really need to cope with is the soundproofing of the recording studio. Many indie musicians have chosen to use their garages as recording studios, and then use the trays holding the eggs as soundproof panels to stick to the walls, creating simple soundproofing for recording.

Renly is now faced with the same problem.

When he started playing, the whole wall shook like a bed sheet in the wind, “Shut up!” The whispered words of love next door came to an abrupt halt, pausing for about half a second before a man’s voice full of foul language yelled, but Renly didn’t care, raising his voice to yell, “If you make any more noise, I’ll tell Kingston what you’re really doing!”

Just one word brought the voices next door to a screeching halt. The man next door has been cheating on his girlfriend behind her back and doesn’t know how to restrain himself, to his own annoyance. His girlfriend’s brother name is Kingston, who runs a meat store three blocks away – specializing in pork, beef, lamb, etc. and has close ties to the Italian mafia.

It was finally quiet, a rare moment of peace in New York at 4am.

Turning on his computer and holding his guitar in his arms, Renly was a bit lost in thought. He hadn’t recorded the melody and lyrics yet, as he didn’t play this song in the past six months, so his mind has actually gone blank for a brief moment.

Calming down his mind he let his fingertips find the strings, as he casually sketched them, the story of Cleopatra and Mark Antony once again emerged.

When future generations stand at the contemporary node to look at history, because of the changes and progress of life, worldview, values and times, re-giving special meaning to historical events. Just as the heliocentric theory was once known as something demonic, just as the Internet was once the end of the world, after the passage of time, things will always be different from the original appearance, and the truth at that particular point in history can no longer be accurately regain.

Countless people, including Shakespeare, thought that Cleopatra was an ambitious woman, who practically relied on her own power to influence the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. But in history, did anyone ever understand Cleopatra’s feelings? Just like in the case of Wu Zetian*, people saw her great achievements, saw her uncompromising nature, saw her monarchy, saw her iron hand, but never saw her softness as a woman, and hardships she had to go through.

“But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life. And when I die alone, when I die alone, die I’ll be on time, ah, yeah.”

The familiar melody flowed down from his fingertips once again, not only Cleopatra, but also everyone in real life, how many people missed the love of their lives, how many people carried the shackles of fate in the choice between love and career, and how many people struggled to reach the end of their lives amidst misunderstandings and hardships.

How many other people, like he, can gain a second chance at life?

Happy and sad, excited and lost, ecstatic and confused …… that bitterness hidden in the midst of a light melody, quietly dancing on the tip of the tongue, the corners of his mouth outlined in a smile, but that cannot hide the silence under the glimmer of the night, the music notes shining under the clear moonlight with an enchanting radiance.

“Wait, how does this recording work again?” Renly looked at the recording software on the computer and was full of questions.

*Wu Zetian



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