Chapter 171: Ye Xingling’s Version of “The Caged Butterfly”
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Oh, oh, oh, right!”
Everyone nodded in agreement. Yes, that song “The Caged Butterfly,” how could anyone other than the late Diva Xia Ling sing that well? It was a highly challenging song technically, and the emotions that were required in the song were intense. Merely the fact that it was the momento song for the late Diva would be a huge burden and pressure for any competitor.
“Let’s pick that!” Someone said.
“However,” Someone else raised an objection. “if we choose this song, wouldn’t it be obvious that we’re trying to make things difficult?” Everyone was aware that this song was a difficult choice, and even though it was a competition, being too obvious about making things difficult for competitors could come across as being too petty. Hence, no one had picked “The Caged Butterfly” yet even though the “You Choose, I Sing” segment had been going on for several rounds already.
“If it were for someone else, we would be intentionally making life difficult. But we’re talking about Ye Xingling here.” The person that had suggested the song piped up. “Ye Xingling was able to sing Xia Ling’s ‘Sea Demon’ well. Who knows, she might kill at ‘The Caged Butterfly’ too, since she’s supposedly Xia Ling’s fan. I’m sure many are interested to hear her sing this song, we’re simply picking it to please the crowd.”
“That’s right.” The team settled on their plan and selected a representative to go on stage.
That representative was a relatively new singer who had recently debuted, called Mu Xiaoxi. At this moment, she stood tall in front of Xia Ling and raised the microphone to her lips with a smile. “Hello, Ye Xingling. The song that we have chosen for you to sing is ‘The Caged Butterfly.'”
Xia Ling almost felt herself go dizzy. “What?”
“‘The Caged Butterfly’… we hope that you can sing that song.” Mu Xiaoxi continued, “I heard you’re Xia Ling’s fan, and coincidentally, so am I. I’ve heard your version of ‘Sea Demon,’ and it was awesome. Hence, I believe that your version of ‘The Caged Butterfly’ would be great too. Please, the stage is yours.”
There was great commotion offstage.
The audience started to discuss this excitedly. ‘The Caged Butterfly’ was a really challenging song, and it was a song that encapsulated the best of techniques and emotions that the Diva Xia Ling had mastered. Ever since its release, many professional and amateur singers had tried to sing covers, but none had been able to do it well. In fact, most that had tried to cover ‘The Caged Butterfly’ had simply been the center of ridicule and bashing from netizens.
Now, Mu Xiaoxi asked for her opponent to sing this song? Wasn’t that just mean?
However, the audience was indeed curious if Ye Xingling, the one who had sung ‘Sea Demon’ with such finesse, would be able to pull off ‘The Caged Butterfly’ and bring to the audience a miracle?
The female emcee’s eyes lit up, and she gave an expression that was bent on spicing up the atmosphere even more. “Mu Xiaoxi, are you sure?”
Mu Xiaoxi quietly nodded her head.
Xia Ling frowned slightly. “This song… I would not want to do injustice to it. Can you pick another song?” This was not the real reason for Xia Ling’s question. The real reason was that she did not ever want to sing that song again. That song was a culmination of all the pain in her past life. It was too bloody, too dark, and was born in the midst of her worst nightmare. She did not know if she would be able to keep her emotions in check if she were to sing it again.
Mu Xiaoxi replied sincerely, “It wouldn’t be an injustice, it’ll be just a different way of giving a tribute to Xia Ling. Aren’t you also her fan, Ye Xingling? Isn’t it great to be able to do something nice for your idol? The song is on the song list, after all.”
It was true, the song was on the song list.
Nebula Music Festival’s song list was created with reference to the participating singers and producers every year. All the songs that were sung by singers and producers participating in the musical festival would be on the list. It was the first time that Xia Ling agreed wholeheartedly to Wei Shaoyin’s view — Feng Kun was the bane of her existence. If it weren’t for him, ‘The Caged Butterfly’ would not appear in the song list this year.
The female emcee laughed conspiratorily. “Mu Xiaoxi is right, there would be no injustice done at all. Songs are made for people to sing after all, don’t you agree, Ye Xingling? However, if you think that you won’t be able to outdo the late Diva Xia Ling, and have no confidence in singing the song well, you’re free to forfeit and admit defeat.”
Her words were like needles hidden in a pile of cotton, and they made Xia Ling see a fire.
“I have never believed myself to be inferior to anyone, even if it is the late Diva.” Xia Ling responded coldly.
The audience was completely silent upon hearing her statement before rapturous applause and jeers broke out simultaneously —
“Great job, Ye Xingling!”
“Tsk, don’t bite off more than you can chew!”
Shouts from both sides continued to ring out for a while.
The female emcee’s smile broadened across her face as she reveled in the situation. As an emcee, her concern was always that there would not be a punchline, and she embraced conflict and controversy instead of shying away from them. At this moment, the audiences’ reaction was just what she liked to see, and she became even more excited. “Ye Xingling,” she said immediately when the crowd quietened down a little. “it looks like everyone has high hopes for your performance. Why don’t you grace us with your rendition of the song? Look behind, your score isn’t particularly high right now.” The emcee turned around to glance at the big screen behind her. “Your accumulated score now is 3658 points, and while you’re in top place for all the newcomers this year, Xia Yu is close behind you. If you forfeit this round, you won’t be able to accumulate any points, and will even be losing 500 points. You will then fall behind Xia Yu. How would you feel if that happens? What do all of you think, audience? Should she let that happen?!”
The female emcee turned to the audience and asked emphatically, extending her microphone to the audience to capture their response.
The audience passionately shouted back. “No, she shouldn’t!”
“Ye Xingling, The Caged Butterfly!”
“Ye Xingling, The Caged Butterfly!”
The anticipation in the hall was at its peak.
Xia Ling felt dizzy seeing this unfold as if a huge tidal wave had enveloped her, and she was at a loss of where she was. Was it anemia, or did she not get enough rest last night? Her knees buckled slightly, and she had to compose and steady herself through taking several deep breaths. Feeling faint, she did not know how much longer she would be able to hold herself together on stage. She needed to get this over and done with.
“Okay, I’ll sing ‘The Caged Butterfly.’ Let’s begin.” She hurriedly said.
The female emcee smiled in satisfaction and said a string of encouragement and compliments to Xia Ling. Seeing that her mission was successful, Mu Xiaoxi also said a word of encouragement. Xia Ling thanked them politely, holding in her increasing discomfort, and watched as they left the stage.
She was left alone on the vast stage.
The spotlight dimmed, and a bluish purple mist rose from all around her, making it seem like she was part of a dream.
She heard the introduction melody of “The Caged Butterfly” start playing in the background, like flowing water, full of melancholy and sadness. The melody lines layered upon each other, complementing each other… just the introduction was sufficient to knock at the depths of the listener’s hearts.
As expected of the top producer, Feng Kun.
Xia Ling listened and immersed herself in the melody, before lifting the microphone to her lips with her eyes closed. Even though she had heard the arrangement for “The Caged Butterfly” by Feng Kun before today, it felt entirely different having to sing to it in this performance.
It was so familiar…
The song was like an old friend that she had not met in a while, gently waving at her and calling to her.
It had nostalgia, sadness… it seemed to understand her, to emphatize with her, and to feel her pain… and it seemed to know her tempo and match her voice. Although Xia Ling was singing this live for the first time, she moved alongside it impeccably as if she had rehearsed it thousands of times before.
Long time no see, old friend.
With her head still spinning and feeling as if she were in the midst of a dream, Xia Ling opened her mouth and sang softly, “If only we had never met that year…”
The feeling of anguish and sharp pain extended through her body with the first line of lyrics.
“Perhaps the ending would have been different…”
As the second line of the lyrics left her lips, the pain in her heart intensified, and Xia Ling felt like she could hardly breathe.