Witch, Open Your Eyes - 1
“Fang Daichuan get up! We’re almost at the airport so stop sleeping! Have you looked at the script and your character notes!?” His assistant, Lil’ Zhou, yelled as she kicked Fang Daichuan awake. Her bright red high-heels left a small round mark on Fang Daichuan’s jeans.
Fang Daichuan struggled to sit up in the backseat of the car, his thin white tee clinging on to his well-developed muscles. He pushed his messy bangs to the back of his head, casually picking up a baseball cap and putting it on.
“Ancestor, I had to rush to a TV series filming last night, and the filming lasted all night. I just got my hands on the script yesterday, and haven’t had the time to look at it. I’ll look at it now, I’ll look at it now.” He coaxed her while laughing, rolling over and sitting up properly.
Lil’ Zhou shoved the thick script and character notes into his hands, in no way gentle or kind, “Who doesn’t go through full nights of filming? Look at the top actor Pei, he’s in the same company as you, and his schedule is also full of shows to film. He even flew to the Maldives early this morning to shoot a commercial. How is it that the pictures his fans take of him at the airport are still so beautiful and neat?! Then look at yourself! Sleep is all you’ve cared about since morning, and you don’t even put on makeup or eat lunch. Look at your own complexion! Your eye-bags are almost drooping down to your chin! How do I fix up the photo I’ll take to post as a sneak-peek later?”
“How can I compare with Pei Wenqing?” Fang Daichuan smiled bitterly, “He’s the top actor. He only acts in non-action shows where he sits indoors chatting with the air conditioning blowing at him. In action shows, they have to use body doubles, and if the sun’s too hot they have to find a stand-in actor for him. I’m a lesser known online celebrity, and a fucking martial arts actor to boot. I have to be clad in armour, ride horses, jump off cliffs, and roll around getting bruised up. I have to be considered to have great physical fitness if I can still get up after all that.”
Lil’ Zhou didn’t care about those things. She quickly squeezed out a bunch of foundation onto her hand, then smeared it onto Fang Daichuan’s face with a wet powder puff, covering up the dark circles, pimple-scars and the small scars left from his being bruised up last night. Then she put on thin eyeliner for his eyes.
While doing so, she casually retorted, “It’s thanks to you not living up to expectations. When you manage to get up to Pei ge’s(1) level, you can also use seventeen, eighteen stand-in actors, and sit indoors enjoying the air conditioning.”
Fang Daichuan was holding up the script to read it, and was tearing up while she put on the eyeliner. With Lil’ Zhou being anxious, her actions were rough, and his already sensitive eyes turned red. Fang Daichuan lamented, “Grandma, do it lightly! I’m reading the script! My eyes hurt!”
Lil’ Zhou chided, “I’ll do it while you read! This programme team’s just sabotaging the actors. You can’t bring a makeup artist along, and they start shooting the moment you get on the plane. Do you want to appear on camera with your face like this?”
At her words, Fang Daichuan flipped back to the cover for a more detailed look.
The cover of the script was simple, with a black background and the programme’s logo written out in excellent penmanship with a white brush pen, “Werewolf”. The word for “kill”(2) was written in traditional Chinese, and the two strokes at the top were painted using a shocking bright red, the colour of blood.
“What kind of programme is this?” Fang Daichuan flipped open his character notes and looked between the two. “My character design is ‘a guardian angel with MAX strength, E rank luck, and an IQ of less than eighty, who was coaxed into submission by the goddess’s intellect. Obsessed with the goddess, he would guard her for ten thousand years… ‘Scuse me??? What the hell is this character design!”
Lil’ Zhou threw herself into contouring his puffed-up cheeks and explained quickly, “Werewolf is a new variety show introduced by the television station Huo Long Guo, which is the Werewolf version of a game where you have to tear other people’s nametags off their backs. Your character design is mainly one that supports the main female lead. The female lead is a smart goddess, her IQ and EQ are both off the charts, and people like you have to act stupid at the appropriate times to make her stand out, act as a contrast. You understand.”
He did understand, nodding. It wasn’t too bad, at least he got the role of a guardian angel + a love-struck character with off-the-charts strength level. He should get a decent amount of spotlight.
This kind of variety show, of which the main focus was the female lead, always went the same way. The goddess(3) had to be the brains of the group, as well as be the visuals queen. The other main characters would then go along with her, starting a CP, before she gets a plan B(4) – the male guest who obsessively protects her. The rest are then responsible for playing around and creating funny scenes.
The strength level was no problem. If you asked Fang Daichuan, amongst the new generation of actors, be it in doing useless martial arts poses or serious fight scenes, no one else in the entertainment industry could compare with him, the young actor hailing from a family of policemen. Only the stupidity of the character… posed a bit of a challenge. Fang Daichuan frowned as he thought so.
Lil’ Zhou opened a box of powder and used a big brush to brush a layer of it onto Fang Daichuan’s face.
She instructed him casually, “I’m not worried about the low IQ. You can just act like yourself, you’ve never won a game of Werewolf before anyways. I’m worried about whether your strength is up to par? It is said that the guests that come and go are often national athletes. Amongst a group of 1.9 metres tall young eye candies from fencing, swimming, or badminton teams, there’s no way you’d be able to snatch the spotlight during the first part of the show where there are no fight scenes. Your toned body is also something the guests that come and go would be on guard against. If you can’t tear off the nametags of others when it comes down to it, then you’d just be doing free labour.”
“Low IQ? Act like myself? Is my IQ low?!!” Fang Daichuan’s disapproval grew as he listened, his face full of question marks.
Lil’ Zhou’s movements halted for a moment, and she looked him up and down before tilting up the corner of her lips, sneering, “Hmph, hmph.”
Fang Daichuan felt like he was being looked down upon, “What do you mean by hmph, hmph! Is my IQ really that low?! I did my university entrance examinations properly and got a bachelor’s degree, my IQ is at least average! How is my IQ low?! “
Lil’ Zhou simpered for a while, the definition of ‘smiling without saying anything’.
Fang Daichuan wanted to argue against more of what she had said, but at that moment, the driver turned around and said, “We’ve reached the airport.”
The two of them dragged their large suitcases off the car. Thunderclouds covered the afternoon sky. Purple lightning was shrouded by thick clouds, and the surroundings were dark.
Lil’ Zhou looked worriedly in the direction of the airport, “With the weather like this, can the airplane still fly?”
“It all depends on the mood of the heavens.” Fang Daichuan carried two large suitcases, one on each hand, and walked inside.
Lil’ Zhou held on to her make-up pouch and walked beside him, taking photos with a few clicks of the camera in order to post a picture of him carrying the luggages on his own – the image of someone who was responsible and boyfriend material – on Weibo. She lowered her head and quickly used a few softwares to edit the picture, jabbering on while she walked, “You’d better pray to God now, and hope that the plane takes off normally. Do you really think that you’re a popular celebrity? If you don’t get there on time, Huo Long Guo can find a young eye candy with a nice body to replace you in minutes!”
What they feared actually happened; Lil’ Zhou’s ability to set up flags(5) practically got full marks. As soon as the two of them entered the terminal, they heard the broadcast: “Travellers and friends traveling to Qingdao on flight CA256, please note. Travellers and friends traveling to Qingdao by flight CA256, please note. We regret to inform you that due to weather conditions, flight CA256 cannot take off as per scheduled, and the departure time is to be delayed. We deeply apologize for this matter. Please rest in the departure hall and wait for further information, thank you! Travellers and friends traveling to Qingdao on flight CA256… “
“Fuck!” Lil’ Zhou was so anxious she kept rolling her eyes, “What do we do now! Deng ge didn’t come with us! I’m just a small assistant, I can’t handle these kinds of things!”
Deng ge was Fang Daichuan’s manager. Fang Daichuan wasn’t especially popular in the entertainment industry, and he didn’t have much of an impact in the scene. Deng ge was in charge of a few other young eye candies, and he couldn’t afford to spend too much time on him. Thus, he never personally sent him off at the airport. Lil’ Zhou was just a small assistant, and didn’t have the ability to fix this kind of situation.
Fang Daichuan comforted her, “Don’t panic, first give Deng ge a call, and find a way to contact the programme team. See if we can find a way to go there on our own.”
Lil’ Zhou went to a corner to make the call.
Fang Daichuan pushed his luggage so that it was beside the wall and sat on it, his long legs casually stretched out, taking advantage of the time he had to read his script.
Werewolf was a fairly old kind of variety show; it was a competitive variety show of the action kind – the same old bottle but with new wine in it – except with the husk of a Werewolf game. The character roles were picked at the beginning of each episode. There were four character roles: the Werewolf, Villager, Witch, and Seer. The game had the same rules as the party game.
Werewolves can kill one person every night. After the werewolves kill someone, the Seer can check a character’s identity. The Witch has two bottles – a poison that can kill someone during the night, and a cure that can save someone that’s been killed by the Werewolves. After using up the poison and cure, the Witch is no different from a Villager. During the day, the programme team will announce the players who have been killed, and then a meeting will be held to vote out a player suspected to be a Werewolf. The game will continue until the Werewolves kill all the good guys, or until the good guys vote out all the Werewolves. As long as Werewolves and good guys both exist in the game, the referee will announce “the game continues”.
Fang Daichuan, a lesser known actor, of course couldn’t get a good character role. With such shows that had a script, even though the character roles are said to be freely drawn, everyone’s scripts clearly state their roles in reality, and the main characters also had follow PBs(6) that would remind guests of what to do next. Fang Daichuan had been in the industry for many years, so he was familiar with all these things.
In the first episode, his role would be a Villager, and he would be tricked very badly by the Werewolves. In the first round, he followed the rest and voted for the goddess, the Seer, resulting in a devastating loss. The last shot will cut to his face – him staring dumbly at the rest after they revealed that they were the Werewolves, completely unable to catch on to what had happened. Then, amongst the crusade, he knelt down in front of the goddess and pleaded for forgiveness. After that, he was brought into her submission and became the goddess’s dog.
— Very good, it was a very suitable role for a brainless thug, Fang Daichuan helplessly sighed.
The second episode, he was the Witch, but his IQ didn’t increase by much. He became the goddess’ loyal fan, and supported the goddess’ every vote. He used the precious cure to revive the goddess when she was killed by the Werewolves. But in the end, it was revealed that the goddess was a Werewolf, and the last shot would cut to his heartbroken face as his nametag was ripped off by the goddess.
Dejected, Fang Daichuan flipped through the script. He had signed 12 episodes of the first season. Basically, his character was stupid for 11 episodes, and lost again and again, his luck a big fat E-rank. Moreover, he was love-struck by the goddess for 11 episodes. When he got the Werewolf role, he stupidly gave away his identity to the goddess. When he was a Villager, he was easily killed by the goddess’ soldiers. And when he got onto the same team as the goddess, his nametag was ripped off by the Werewolves on the first night in order to protect the goddess. He was a big, fat, pitiful plan B.
Fortunately, he would make a shocking comeback on the 12th episode.
To make the show exciting, they added a “White Wolf” role on the 12th episode, and started to have undercover activities. Maybe it was to make up for how Fang Daichuan barely got any spotlight in the first 11 episodes. In the last episode, Fang Daichuan got the “White Wolf” role, one that could turn the tables.
The White Wolf was a character role added during the second expansion of the Werewolf game, and was the equivalent of the Traitor in “Legends of the Three Kingdoms”(7). He could only win by killing all the Werewolves and good guys. Fang Daichuan played on the good, brainless character that he had built up throughout the past 11 episodes, and finally used his IQ to turn the tables on the game, deeply shocking the other players.
Fang Daichuan closed the script, secretly satisfied. His character design was managed well, and could actually get him a lot of fans. When he was a young martial arts actor in the industry, he really loved acting, and loved doing action shows. He had even dreamed of acting in a proper top-rated action show as the male lead. But you could only act in those shows if you were popular, and only if you brought in traffic then you would get business; that was the case in reality. If he wanted to star in shows, he had to first make himself popular.
I hope this Werewolf game will be a turning point in my life, and make me popular. Fang Daichuan bowed his head and secretly prayed to himself, setting up a bright red flag for himself.
After a short while, Lil’ Zhou came back with two cups of coffee, “I contacted the programme team, they said your follow PB and photographers have already arrived at the airport, they’ll go back and get a car to fetch us over. They’ll be here at around 1pm, so they told us to wait for a while.”
Fang Daichuan took the coffee and nodded, turning his head to look at the strong storm outside the window. The heavy rain was like a veil, covering the roads leading to the outside world such that you couldn’t get a grasp on your direction, as well as the road in front of you.
(1) Ge is the shortened form of gege, which is more mature, and can be used to refer to someone who’s older than you, and someone you respect
(2) In Chinese, the game Werewolf is called Lang Ren Sha (狼人杀), with three characters. Its literal translation would be “werewolf kills”, with the third character meaning “kill”. Here, it’s talking about the two strokes on the third character (the x looking thing) being written in red
(3) “Goddess” here (女神) refers to a women who is either extremely beautiful, or is really good in a certain field (in this case, the game). It could also mean someone who is both of the above
(4) ‘Plan B’ here refers to someone who’s treated as a backup plan in a relationship…. Like,, if you’re a plan B, then that means the other part doesn’t actually consider their relationship with you precious, you’re just there as a relationship plan b
(5) ‘Setting up flags’ in Chinese is like… jinxing yourself
(6) ‘PB’ here stands for PangBai, meaning narrator in Chinese
(7) Card game! You can search it up!
Phew okay so,,, I actually translated this chapter a long time ago and was super drained after translating (this first chapter was over 3.6k Chinese characters).
I don’t think I’ll have time to translate this one on top of Your Distance (cough, plugging the novel I’m actively translating) so this is just a teaser!
If anyone wants to pick this up, you can feel free to do so! Just please please contact me before you start, since I might translate more if I’m free, and we don’t want to do duplicate work (eg, you start working on chapter 2 when I’ve already translated half of it, or something). You can probably reach me on the Foxaholic discord~
Thank you for reading!!! The first chapter might not seem too interesting but this is, all in all, a really good novel I hope someone falls into the pit and is willing to continue translating it haha.