Chapter 75: Ye Fan Was Confident In Winning (2)
The streets of Vienna had a very charming impression. The architecture was a mosaic of buildings both old and new, reminding people of both its rich history and its prosperous present. Old baroque buildings loomed over Tang Jin, casting great shadows that provided a much needed respite from the enthusiastically ever present sunshine. The silver bell hung above the door trinkled melodiously when she entered the shop she had been informed about in advance. The door swung closed behind her as she surveyed her surroundings. Bright lighting and sleek, modern displays of technology greeted her as she wandered along the shelves, searching for the owner. The man had slowly made his way from the backroom when he immediately recognized Tang Jin from the photo that one of the members of the film crew had sent him. He passed a microphone to her without a word, since it’s use had already been paid in full by the production team. Tang Jin plugged in the mic, tested it and began to sing.
The area was deserted when she began to sing, not many people leaving the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to watch a busker. However, slowly, a steady stream of people began trickling into the square. Gradually, many people had gathered in the square, circling an area around her while not crowding too near, maintaining a respectful distance. While some of them were genuinely curious who Tang Jin was, the majority of the herd were help, employees hired by the crew. They had hired all kinds of people, considering a wide range of diversity to make sure that the ones who were hired seemed nondescript and could easily blend in with the rest of the crowd. They had only one mission- to go and support Tang Jin, who would be singing in the square by tipping her large amounts of money that the crew had graciously provided beforehand.
Like magic, more and more money continued to pile up in front of Tang Jin. It was almost as if she was summoning it from thin air, Gu Yachen thought. It was reinforced in her mind- this was the right side to choose after all. This was Tang Jin’s power, Gu Yachen knew she would be alright as stuck with Tang Jin. Look at her now, wasn’t she doing nothing as the money came rolling in?
In the chatroom, chaos had exploded. Although they didn’t have any evidence to prove so, many netizens were expressing some of their rather controversial opinions including ones derogatory towards Tang Jin. Astutely, they were reluctant to trust her again after she had blatantly lied during the stand-in scandal. Some netizens loudly voiced their theory that Tang Jin had the money making mission all set up, since she wasn’t an amazing singer. So it made no sense for her to earn such an extravagant amount of money. As if gifted with a supernatural sixth sense, the hired commenter from Tang Jin’s team swooped in, trying their utmost best to clean up her stained reputation. It was a war. The majority opinion would usually end up reigning supreme, not only by convincing bystanders to jump the bandwagon but also by planting seeds of doubt into the minds of those who opposed them. Messages from Tang Jin’s minion came in spades to defend her, as loyal as dogs.
“After that whole stand-in incident, Tang Jin seems to be pretty low-key now.”
“Can’t you put that topic aside for a bit? Let the whole issue rest, it’s not even related to this, This is a reality show. Look at how well Tang Jin is singing! She was so smart to think of making money like this. It was a really great choice from the amount she’s making!.”
“Tang Jin’s good although she’s obviously incomparable to a professional singer. Still, that kind of comparison wouldn’t be fair. She already made a substantial amount of money. That alone shows how capable she is. .”
“Tsk tsk tsk. How disappointing…Ye Fan’s team hasn’t made any progress at all. Seems like Ye Fan’s going to lose for sure. I guess she’s only good at looking pretty. What a loser.”
Tang Jin had debuted many years ago. Since the beginning of her career in the entertainment industry, she had slowly but surely grown her collection of fans. Of course, her family backing had helped her in staying visible and successfully advertising herself. She had made such an impact that even after the stand-in scandal and her inadequate response to that, there was still a legion of loyal, die-hard fans who would stay by her side.In their eyes, Tang Jin was an idol placed on a very high pedestal, one that could do no wrong. It gave the feeling that they believed if they said their lies frequently enough that they would come true.
The comments section was filled with praise for Tang Jin. Although some people did wonder where so many of her supporters suddenly came from, their comments were swept away in a deceptively innocuous manner by the barrage of comments that kept flooding the chatroom. Like snow covering footsteps left behind by someone, their token protests were shoved away until it seemed as if they never existed there in the first place. There was not a single trace of any words or opinions against Tang Jin.
Seeing the money pile up, a sense of smugness and satisfaction shook Tang Jin. She felt like she was soaring through the clouds, on top of the world. Her confidence was astronomical, seeing the money coming in was enough to cause it to take off, reaching almost unbearable heights.
Ye Fan, how are you going to compare with me this time?
Upon hearing the director’s instructions for the mission, the method that she would use to make money suddenly popped into her head as if a switch had been flipped. Back in her world, she was virtually a virtuoso in the field of music. She had been renowned for her skilled musicianship as a player but also for her genius composition skills. Naturally, she was proficient in playing a variety of instruments. So she had decided she would do what most music students ended up doing- busking on the streets.
Playing a violin on the street would be a sure shot method to attract everyone’s attention.
However, to do that, she needed to borrow a violin.
Ye Fan confidently strode through the familiar streets of Austria, reminiscing on her time in the city as memories flashed through her head like a broken film reel, repeating over and over. Austria was the music capital of the world, the birthplace of many famous composers such as Schubert, Hadyn, Strauss, Mahler and of course, Mozart. Due to their influence, a strong atmosphere of culture permeated the air to this date. It was host to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best in the entire world. Indeed, Austria was a city that lived and breathed music, it wouldn’t be hard to find a violin shop nearby. The challenge would be to obtain one as violins were not cheap instruments. In fact, those of the highest quality sold at astronomical prices.
“What the hell? What’s Ye Fan going into a music shop for? I never heard she could play any instruments though?”
“You’re seriously overthinking. Is it necessary to go into a music shop to get an instrument? Who says? She might just be going inside to ask for directions.”
“Actually, Ye Fan does seem like the cultured type. Perhaps she’s actually studied music before, maybe when she was young?”
Ye Fan walked into the cozy shop and noticed a foreign woman inside. She approached the stranger and explained her purpose in fluent and only slightly accented german, asking if she could borrow a violin. The woman seemed shocked and promptly refused. She politely uttered her refusal. “No, you cannot, I suggest you find another shop that might entertain your request.”
However, Ye Fan was not discouraged. She knew that not everyone would accept such a request, and she had guessed this would happen early on. Ye Fan left and continued on her quest, optimistic that another shop would agree.
As Ye Fan traversed the meandering alleys of Vienna, she ultimately paused once happening upon a tall, modern building that stood in front of her. From her position outside the shop, she peered through the glass. Her breath caused some condensation, puffing a thin mist onto the glass as she leaned forward excitedly.A majestic midnight colored Steinway piano sat at the front of the shop and a beautiful violin shaded with auburn tones hung upon the wall. It was clearly an instrument of high quality, as it was kept in perfect condition probably due to the shopkeeper’s love and dedication to his craft.
Ye Fan sucked in a deep breath, as if the crisp air would not only refresh her but also imbue her with a sense of confidence and a calm composure. The person manning the shop was a foreigner, with a shock of sunshine blond hair and sky blue eyes. She focused on her goal, aware of the ticking clock as the time that the mission would end inched closer and closer every passing second. As politely as she could, she posed her question. “Hello. May I borrow the violin hung on the wall?”
The man’s name was Ben as he revealed to her, an easy grin on his face. Well, this was certainly a deviation from the norm wasn’t it? Although Ben loved his shop, everyday was weighed down by the monotony of daily life- everyday seemed the same, as if you were reading iterations of the same story all over again. He sized up Ye Fan, observing a very beautiful Chinese girl. Curious, he didn’t refuse her outright instead asking for an explanation. “Well, what are you borrowing it for?” Although his curiosity was piqued, he would never hand a treasure such as the violin over to just anybody without knowing their reasons or talent.
Ye Fan explained, “I’m recording a program and I have to make some money within the set time limit. I really need a violin, so could you lend me one?”
Ben pondered over it for a moment, weighing the request and its riskiness carefully. He finally agreed but there was a caveat. “I can lend you the violin, but you have to fulfil one condition.”
Ye Fan listened to him seriously.
”Right now, there’s a music teacher present in the store. She’s my mentor and a graduate of the Vienna English Academy.” Ben gestured to a woman standing at the side of one of the shelves, looking at the vinyls of classical music. “If you can play better than her, you deserve to use the violin. It’s very precious to me, so I won’t give it out to just anyone. You’ll have to convince me of your skill and caliber.”
Ben was itching to observe this woman’s skills. It takes guts to boldly make such a request and not shy away from a possible refusal. He was eager to see if she could put her money where her mouth was and her playing backed up her attitude.
Ye Fan agreed without hesitation. “Alright.”
Ben gently removed the violin from the wall, and passed it over to Ye Fan.
When Ye Fan saw the violin, her eyes glimmered faintly. It was beautiful. Her snow-white slender hand held it by its neck, her other arm outstretched, asking for the bow. When Ye Fan was still composing music, she would often need to use various instruments to test the melody and get a clear picture of how all the parts written for each instrument would come together, each instrument like a different splash of color until the entire painting was present and coherent. This was the first time she had held a violin since coming to this world. So naturally, it was difficult to describe the depth of emotion that had washed over her at the moment. However, her love for music was evident, whether that be by the soft expression that had graced her gorgeous face or the tenderness with which she cradled the violin in her arms.