Chapter 44: The Judgment Day of a Diva
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
On the judgment day.
Many trainees were gathered at the auditorium, wanting to catch a glimpse of the action.
Tan Ying did not stop them, but rather canceled lessons for the morning to accommodate the curious trainees. In his words: “Ye Xingling, did you think that being a diva is easy? Hard work is not enough. You need to have talent, musicality, stage presence, the ability to control the crowd, the ability to deliver under pressure, X-factor, charm… you have to have all of these. In live performances, all your weaknesses will be revealed, but of course, so will your strengths. Show me the extent of your potential.”
She did not raise any objections. Before she left her dorms, she looked at herself in the mirror.
The girl in the mirror was wearing a white dancewear, her long hair flowing down, and her eyes were a light brown color. She was pretty, but in a place like the training camp where there were many beautiful girls, she did not have anything that would make her stand out. She was already 17, but her bone structure was skinny. In the soft morning sunlight, she was like a quiet white bird.
She reached out her hand to lay a finger on the mirror and the girl in the mirror did the same.
“Xiao Ling,” She said to herself in the mirror. “you’ll have to walk the future path on your own now.”
A cold sensation traveled through her body from the tip of her finger.
She let her hand drop and turned to head out.
There were many people in the auditorium when she arrived. Groups were huddled in the corridor and the main hall, waiting for the activities to start. Xia Ling quickly scanned the room as she walked in and realized that about half the trainees were present.
They were pointing and discussing her all around —
“She’s Ye Xingling? The one that refused to go to Imperial Entertainment?”
“Yeah, I don’t know what’s her deal. I heard that Imperial Entertainment sees a lot of potential in her, but she just doesn’t want to take up their offer.”
“Haha, is it because she knows she doesn’t have what it takes and is afraid of embarrassing herself at Imperial Entertainment?”
“Who knows? She even made the crazy declaration here that she has diva potential. Is she mental? Does she think that there are divas just walking down the street? Hahaha…”
“Exactly! Just look at her now. Diva? If she can become a diva, I’ll be a God!”
Following which, all of them doubled over with laughter.
Xia Ling remained calm and poised in the face of the jeers, her thin frame standing elegantly tall. She walked steadily towards the front. The trainees were giving her all sorts of looks and were saying all sorts of things as they stood staring on the two sides of the corridor, but gradually some started to feel her formidable presence — This girl in the midst of all the chaos and controversy, why did she have the air and arrogance of a diva?
As she walked by, the jeers became fewer and softer.
Xia Ling kept walking forward and saw a man in a neatly pressed suit and holding a crocodile-skin bag standing in front facing her. It was Chu Chen.
“Ye Xingling,” Chu Chen spoke first, his tone full of ridicule. “you really think you can become a diva? Dream on! Why are you putting up such a valiant struggle? You can still leave quietly with me. If you were to go on stage, you’ll just lose face. Not only will it not change the outcome, but you will also have to suffer the jeers of all those present here. Why bother going through with this?”
Xia Ling’s expression became cold as she said, “Get lost.”
The people around gasped in shock —
Did she know who she was talking to? That was Chu Chen! The renowned top manager from Imperial Entertainment! The legendary diva Xia Ling’s former exclusive manager! The man who was the most trusted and highly regarded aide of Pei Ziheng!
From what was heard, even Big Boss Pei Ziheng did not speak so harshly to Chu Chen. Only the arrogant and wilful Xia Ling, who had been spoiled rotten by Pei Ziheng would dare speak harshly to Chu Chen when she was unhappy.
Who did Ye Xingling think she was? Xia Ling? How did she dare speak to Chu Chen in that way!
Yet, no one could have imagined Ye Xingling that standing before them, looking fine at the very best, would be that extraordinary legendary diva Xia Ling underneath. She had never bothered giving face to Chu Chen before, what more now, having gone through the jarring experiences of the past. She knew Chu Chen’s true colors, and he had offended her deeply in the past.
Seeing Chu Chen still standing in the same spot, she repeated, “Get lost.”
Chu Chen did not expect her to berate him in this way and was visibly stunned, his expression unreadable. However, he soon turned the anger into a laugh, saying, “Good… very good! You have guts, Ye Xingling. You’re just a small trainee and you dare be this arrogant and ignorant?! When things get tough don’t come crying to me for help…”
His voice slowly became increasingly sinister.
Xia Ling was not interested in listening to his nonsense. Making her way around him, she walked to the judging auditorium.
In the judging auditorium, it was packed full with people. Seeing Xia Ling enter, everyone’s eyes turned toward her. Xia Ling breathed slowly as she adjusted her steps. This was a habit of hers every time she was about to go on stage in her past life. She would empty her mind with each long, slow breath, not looking, listening or thinking about anything else, removing every distraction, such that her mental state was in the best condition.
She walked step by step to the front of the stage.
“Inviting Miss Ye on stage.” The sweet voice of the emcee rang out.
Xia Ling walked confidently upstage using the narrow stage steps.
The emcee stepped offstage and the lights on the stage went dark.
Suddenly, spotlights from all directions trained in on her, making it difficult for her to keep her eyes open. This was a familiar feeling that she had not experienced in a long while. The brightness and heat were as if it could wipe out anything in its way. Being in the middle of that spotlight with darkness all around her, for a moment, it felt like she owned the universe.
Here, she was the universe.
She heard a voice coming from her right. “Ye Xingling, are you ready?”
She turned her head to look in that direction, a dreamy light following her gaze. It was the judging panel which was made up of five people — Tan Ying, Wei Shaoyin, and three other top management in Skyart Entertainment and, at the same time, highly regarded music experts in the field.
The person that had spoken was Tan Ying.
Xia Ling nodded, picked up the microphone and said, “I can start whenever.”
Tan Ying verified with her again. “Are you still determined to sing acapella without any background music?”
“Yes.” She said.
The audience erupted with various reactions. Some were applauding her, others were jeering.
Everyone was aware that singing acapella without background music was way harder than singing with background music, especially for a live show. Even singers that were veterans in the industry would hesitate before doing something that crazy. However, singing acapella was the most telling of a singer’s abilities, and this was the exact reason that Xia Ling had chosen to sing acapella. It was either she did not sing altogether, or she would make sure everyone would have nothing to say about her singing.
“Madness.” Wei Shaoyin swore softly.
She gave him a smile. He lifted his glass at her with anxiety, but more so encouragement, written in his eyes.
“As you wish.” Tan Ying’s voice rang out again. “Ye Xingling, you can begin.”
The lights on the judging panel dimmed and she was left alone in the world again.
This time was different from the trainee examinations, she did not need to hold back and needed to be completely focused. She remained quiet, imagining herself floating in endless darkness, in a virtual world, in eternal loneliness…
She released the first line of the song slowly from her mouth. “Under the starry sky, on the night ocean.”
There was immediate commotion from the audience, which spread like waves—
“She’s singing ‘Sea Demon’!”
“It’s Xia Ling’s song ‘Sea Demon’!”