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HFA Chapter 31.2

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Chapter 31.2 – Some Past

The next morning, when he woke up, Lu Tinghan had already gotten up, changed his clothes, loaded his pistol with bullets, and was about to go out.

“Can’t you really take a day off?” Shi Yuan asked. “Or half a day?”

“It depends on the situation, there is no guarantee,” Lu Tinghan said. “You can sleep a little longer.”

He went out.

“Depends on the situation” means not very hopeful.

Human beings are tactful and don’t like to talk too much.

—From Shi Yuan’s “Human Observation Diary”.

Shi Yuan went to work obediently.

The emergency passed and he returned to the theater.

After repeated alarms, the theater’s business became more and more difficult to do. Many part-time actors resigned, and Qin Luoluo started recruiting again.

Today, there was no one in the performance hall, so she sat cross-legged in the middle row of the auditorium, put her notebook on the back of the front seat, and drew irritably.

Shi Yuan walked over and sat beside her: “What are you doing?”

“Writing the recruitment information,” Qin Luoluo replied. “We still need 3 extra actors.”

Shi Yuan asked, “Is it hard to find?”

“Yeah, money is one thing, the audience must be very small these days so they are unmotivated,” Qin Luoluo sighed. “Don’t worry, the troupe has survived the more difficult times. During the peak period, the troupe did not perform for six or seven years, but because of Isabella, we did not disband. This time, we can also make it through.”

She looked at Shi Yuan, and suddenly smiled: “If the show really stops, maybe you can find a better job with a much higher hourly rate.”

Shi Yuan: “I’m not doing it for money.”

“Well, that’s right,” Qin Luoluo curled her hair. “It’s impossible for you and your Lu Tingting to be short of money. Speaking of which, I don’t seem to have asked you why you want to act?”

Shi Yuan told her the story of Xie Qianming, and showed her the wolf tooth pendant: “He gave me this.”

“…So that’s how it is,” Qin Luoluo said in amazement. “He’s already dead—does Cheng Youwen know about this?”

Shi Yuan replied: “He knows, I told him.”

“That’s fine,” Qin Luoluo murmured. “That’s it.”

She made a few unconscious scratches on the paper with the pen and looked at the stage again.

From this angle, the cascading red velvet audience seats and the expansive stage were unobstructed.

She said suddenly: “Shi Yuan, do you know that every seat here was full of people during performances in the past.”

Shi Yuan said: “I have watched the video, there was a lot of audiences.”

“Seeing it with your own eyes is different,” Qin Luoluo said. “I haven’t seen the most prosperous period, but when Isabella retired, the theater was full of people, all of whom came to see her. The first time I saw so many people, I thought, it would be great if it could be like this forever.”

Her eyes drifted as if she was looking far away: “Gleaning City’s nickname was ‘Stage in the Rye’, and opera and theater were known throughout the Alliance, with countless artists and audiences coming to see them, and a ticket in the last row in the far corner costing thousands.”

She continued: “Can you imagine? In those days, there was a long line of people waiting for ticket verification, and there was no end in sight. Everyone had to wear very formal suits and long skirts, leather shoes and high heels. The lights on both sides of the avenue were always on and lit up at night, and you could see men in custom ties and vests with exquisite dark lines, women’s earrings glistening, and the air smelled of eau de toilette.”

Shi Yuan asked, “They all like opera and theater?”

“Most of them, yes,” Qin Luoluo replied. “Most people love art. There were also some who were just pretending, holding roses and putting on red lipstick to stand out… But this is not important. The important thing is that the theater will always be open as long as they want to see it.”

“The performances at that time were much more exciting.” She smiled. “There must be big shots sitting in the front row of the theater, from art masters to military officers, celebrities, everyone, and their names can scare people to death. Sitting in our seats, after waiting for the lights to go down, if you look ahead, you will see the most exquisite scenery on the stage, green trees and red flowers, street walls, everything, and the actors are wearing the best scripts in costumes. And when the performance is over, there will be a sea of applause.”

Shi Yuan couldn’t imagine such a magnificent and lively scene.

“It must have been a very good time,” he said.

“Yes, it was a very good time.” Qin Luoluo closed her eyes, then looked at the notebook and the “recruitment notice” on it. “It’s a pity we can’t go back.”

She smiled again: “Ugh, how can I tell you this?” She turned a page of notes. “It’s useless to think about it, let’s take one step at a time – by the way, your pullover is here, it’s in the backstage, and remember to put up posters after lunch.”

“Okay,” Shi Yuan said.

He got up and went backstage, then looked back at Qin Luoluo.

Qin Luoluo was sitting between the empty audience seats.

She had said that acting was to let the light of the world shine on her.

There was no audience in the performance hall now, only the light above her head was turned on, and the light enveloped her softly, other than that, everything was dim.

Shi Yuan went to the backstage and opened the courier.

Inside was a thick brown hoodie with a chibi version of the cypress tree demon on the chest and a bold theater sketch on the back.

This was specially customized by the theater troupe. He and Xia Fang were mainly responsible for the publicity, and each of them had their characters drawn.

Tracy thought of this idea, and she drew the pattern. She said it would advertise and promote the Wild Rose Troupe.

—Despite the fact that even Shi Yuan could see that Tracy just wanted to print out her own drawing, Qin Luoluo still went ahead and customized two pieces of clothing.

If you look closely, there are small dark green protrusions on both sides of the hoodie’s tail, triangular, like cypress leaves.

Shi Yuan went backstage to change, looked in the mirror for a few seconds, then the tip of his tail began to sway happily.

He liked cypress trees.

The cypress tree was chosen as the role at the beginning because there was a cypress forest next to the abyss.

Xia Fang was waiting for him with a poster, wearing a white custom hoodie.

They went all over the streets and put up posters of “The Martyr”, hoping to attract more audience. From 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock in the afternoon, they posted a lot, and they were so hungry that they found a roadside stall to eat.

Shi Yuan ate egg sausage noodles, topped with soy sauce and vegetables. The taste was very good. He liked it after taking a bite, thinking that he would have to eat it with Lu Tinghan next time.

Unfortunately, the price has gone up again, a bowl costs 35 yuan, and his day’s salary is almost gone. Becoming human is a very difficult thing, he is often penniless.

There was an old TV in the store that was about to fall apart, and the sound was electrified. The boss turned on the TV to watch the news, and soon fell asleep.

According to TV news reports, this morning, Chairman Chai Yongning and General Lu Tinghan met to discuss matters and formulate the next course of action based on the recent battle of defending the city.

Chairman Chai Yongning pointed out that this is the moment when all people should unite and work together to overcome difficulties…

Shi Yuan didn’t listen to what was said after that.

He thought while eating noodles. It turned out that when he invited Lu Tinghan to go out to play yesterday, and Lu Tinghan said, “I have a meeting with someone”, he was talking about the chairman of the Alliance.

No wonder he had no time.

So, it seemed that he would be seeing other big shots in the future, and the sentence “It depends on the situation” would be even more hopeless.

Shi Yuan clipped the vegetables.

The vegetables were overcooked and wilted… just like him.

Back at the theater, Shi Yuan was sent out to distribute flyers at the intersection again.

Most of the passers-by came and went, and most of them took his leaflets. When the leaflets were all distributed at 3:30, Shi Yuan really had nothing to do, so he got off work early.

The shuttle bus was slow at this time, and he’d have to wait for half an hour.

He was still wearing a cypress hoodie, standing at the entrance of the theater, a little confused, wondering if he should go and sit at the bus stop first.

Before he could think about it, there was a new message on his phone.

Lu Tinghan: [Where are you?]

Every time Lu Tinghan asked this question, he wanted to come to him. This was an unexpected joy, Shi Yuan was surprised, and his eyes lit up immediately: [I just got off work, I’m at the entrance of the theater]

Lu Tinghan: [Stand there and don’t move]

Shi Yuan asked: [I have to stand?]

Lu Tinghan: [You can lie down]

After a while, Lu Tinghan seemed to realize something, and sent another message: [Shi Yuan, please sit down]

So, Shi Yuan sat obediently on the bench at the door, and waited for 20 minutes before a black car appeared on the corner and stopped in front of him.

Behind the lowered car windows were Lu Tinghan’s gray-blue eyes.

He said, “Get in the car, Little Cypress.”

*

The vehicle was driving on the way to the east of the city, and rows of houses were left behind by them.

Inside the car, Shi Yuan said, “I thought you had no time. Didn’t you have to meet someone?”

“It’s not an important thing, so I turned it down,” Lu Tinghan said calmly as if it was a trivial matter.

“Is it really okay?”

“Hmm.”

“Then where are we going now?” Shi Yuan was full of joy.

Lu Tinghan: “You’ll know when we get there, I think you will like it.”

After 40 minutes, the car passed several checkpoints and stopped beside a small road.

When Shi Yuan got off the car, he saw a large expanse of golden yellow with no end in sight.

The wind was blowing like waves, rising and falling. The golden color was so blindingly dazzling, swaying overwhelmingly, and the sound was also like the cascading waves, never stopping. In the far distance, several-story-high machines with slender four-legged feet sprayed water mist as they walked, drawing a few light rainbows. The gears rotated and the mechanical arms stretched out, like mechanical creatures from ancient times walking on golden clouds.

This was a wheat field.

This was the granary that had supported countless people, it was the origin of the name of this old southern city, and it was the golden blood of the Alliance that had been winding continuously for hundreds of years.

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