Hearing the question from Director Mu, Jiang Dao blinked and smiled.

“Even if I haven’t seen a war…” he argued back, “I also know that a single person’s strength cannot determine the outcome of a war.
Although individual soldiers can sometimes play a key role, the acting in “Han Xiao” is a bit too much.
He’s not the king of soldiers, he’s god!”

“Hahahaha!” Mu Zhixing laughed loudly when he heard the words.
“Apart from a few old fogies, who dare to comment on my movie like this in front of me, you’re the only one.”

Jiang Dao shrugged, not at all afraid.

“However, your senses are sharp.” Mu Zhixing explained.
“”Han Xiao” is a commercial film.
It was shot to make money at the box office, so the film was focused on catering to what the audience likes.
“Homecoming” is my personal work; it’s not to make money or win awards, just like the book.
I was lucky enough to meet a suitable actor, so I made it.”

“So it didn’t sell well.” Chu Yinlong added.
“The movie’s mood is too desperate.”

“I don’t think it’s desperate enough.” Jiang Dao chuckled.

“If those two soldiers were sacrificed from the beginning as bait so they could rescue the small town, but in fact, were really used to draw away the main enemy force… In the end, no one survives, including the residents of the city.”

“Hiss…” The Director Mu hissed, clenching his jaw as if his toothache.

“Then it’ll be a banned film!” Chu Yinlong was speechless.
“What are you thinking about?”

“That’s more realistic.” Jiang Dao replied with a smile.

After a long silence, Chu Yinlong asked Director Mu: “Why do I think Little Grey Wolf is not as dark as him?”

Mu Zhixing smiled.

Two hours later, the car finally stopped on the side of a slightly deserted street.

Jiang Dao, Chu Yinlong, and Mu Zhixing were taken into a residential house rented by the program team to rest for a while.
After taking care of styling, makeup, and hair, the three boarded another vehicle, which drove them up a winding, rugged mountain road.

After a 20-minute ride, and then changing to a boat prepared by the program team, and crossing a lake, Jiang Dao finally saw the scattered villages on an island in the center of the lake.

Cameras were readied at the village pier, waiting to take pictures.

“How did you find this place?” As someone over half-a-century old, Mu Zhixing’s body is not as agile.
He signed as he disembarked onto land.
“Little guy, is this really a paradise? There is no road, and we even need to take a boat…”

The director of the program who followed quickly stepped forward to take Director Mu’s luggage with a shy smile.
“But the scenery is good, and the cost is cheap.”

Jiang Dao jumped ashore with his suitcase.
Silently following behind Director Mu, he looked around curiously, observing the environment around.

The size of this island isn’t small.
Winding stone steps ran up a central mountain dotted with houses accompanied with smoke rising from cooking.
It’s obvious people live here.
As someone who’s only seen the type of urban life described in the book, this is the first time he’s seen such a village in this world.

“How is it?” Chu Yinlong asked, “Does this fit your dream of a ‘place with beautiful scenery’?”

“Pretty good.” Jiang Dao nodded and looked at Chu Yinlong.
“So you specially invited me to record this variety show?”

“Yeah.” Chu Yinlong simply admitted it.

He added with a smile: “Being an entertainer has this advantage.
Whatever kind of life you want to live, you can always find chances to try it… Even if you want to be a soldier, there are also variety shows that cooperate with military training bases, and the instructors in it are real soldiers.”

“No soldiers.” Jiang Dao shook his head quickly.
“I will never be a soldier in this life.”

“Are you afraid of suffering?” Chu Yinlong asked with a smile.

“I’m not afraid, but since I can avoid suffering, I don’t need to rush to suffer.” Jiang Dao squinted at him.
“There are so many delicious foods in this world I haven’t tried yet, why rush to eat suffering?”1Small pun here – re: suffer or to experience suffering is often described as “eating suffering” in Chinese.
If the “eat” is confusing here; I can remove it

The director of the program group in front turned back to look at Jiang Dao, then turned back silently, sighing in his heart.

Which of these current young artists have really suffered… Although most of them work hard enough, compared to their predecessors, life is really much better nowadays.

The group climbed along the mountain road until they nearly reached the top of the mountain, and finally stopped at a platform.

The director returned the luggage in his hand to Mu Zhixing, and arranged for everyone to return to the small residence, and began to shoot the scene where the three of them finally arrived at Taoyuan Courtyard2Yao = peach.
Yuan = Garden.
To keep it poetic, I used Courtyard instead of residence or house.

After adjusting cameras four times, the filming finally began.
The three walked into the dilapidated mountain courtyard in front of them, and saw a handsome and sturdy uncle coming out of the house with a smile.

“Oh! Xiao Chu, you are finally here.
It’s really hard to invite you!” He stepped forward and gave Chu Yinlong a bear hug, then stretched out his hand to Mu Zhixing.
“Long time no see, Director Mu!”

“Hell, last week’s audition, we just met!” Mu Zhixing was obviously very familiar with him, and replied quite rudely.

Next to him, the director of the program team raised his hand, then retracted it with a face full of hesitation.

The handsome uncle saw his entanglement and said with a laugh: “Director Mu, swear words are not allowed to be broadcast.
Let’s record it again.”

Director Mu: …

After moving back a few steps, they began to re-record the first moment the four of them met.

The handsome uncle with a strong physique is named Qi Peng.
He is a powerful old actor.
His wife Hai Tang used to be a dancer, and later entered the entertainment industry.
They are a real husband and wife team.

Two young rookies were also at Taoyuan Courtyard.
The older one is Cheng Zhiyi and the one is named An Zhe.
Cheng Zhiyi is a talented student from a professional school and is the proud disciple of Qi Peng; the younger An Zhe is a popular idol artist who is learning dance with Hai Tang.

“Okay, Xiao Yi, bring Director Mu inside first… to the east room.
An’an, take Brother Long and Xiao Dao to the west.” Qi Peng said, before suddenly remembering something.
“Xiao Chu, you and Xiao Dao, is it alright to sleep in one room? We don’t have enough houses in this place.
The roof of the house in the southwest corner collapsed, and hasn’t been repaired, so no one can live there.”

“I’m fine.” After Chu Yinlong finished speaking, he looked at Jiang Dao.

Jiang Dao shrugged.
“I have no problem.”

Although he answered decisively, when Chu Yinlong followed An Zhe to the west wing and saw the layout of the room, his face suddenly changed.

“Just one bed?” Chu Yinlong looked at An Zhe.

“Well… the conditions this season are too, too bad.
I’m so sorry…” An Zhe was a little afraid of Chu Yinlong, and trembled as he spoke.
“Or, you can live in my room.
My brother and I3he treats Cheng Ziyi as his brother, as in senior brother or close friends since they share a set of teachers..
sleep in separate beds…”

“No need.
Here’s fine, we’re not doing anything special.”

After speaking, Chu Yinlong looked at Jiang Dao again.
“Are you okay using the same bed as me?”

“Yes.” Jiang Dao didn’t care, and put the suitcase directly beside the bed.

Not to mention sleeping in a bed with others, he even slept in a palm-sized grass nest4as in tiny and cramped with his comrades before.
Comparatively speaking, this bed is much more spacious than that grass nest.

“The blankets are, are separate.” An Zhe quickly dragged a second quilt out of the closet.
“It’s just that the bed is a little smaller, and… the planks may make noise.”

Glancing at the quilts piled on the bed, Jiang Dao silently raised his hand to wipe a few beads of sweat off.

In such hot weather, without air conditioning, how does having two quilts make sense? In the end, they’ll likely get kicked off the bed.

After simply unpacking their daily necessities, they heard Hai Tang calling everyone to eat in the yard.

Jiang Dao and Chu Yinlong went out together.
A round table was set up under the wooden shed in the yard.
On the table were four dishes and one soup, and a large pot of noodles and three other dishes were on a side table.

“The kitchen is not fully equipped this season, and rice is a little harder to steam, so we mostly use noodles as our staple food.” Qi Peng led Director Mu to sit down at the table and brought him to a vacant seat.
“Sit whatever you want, don’t worry about seniority in our Taoyuan Courtyard.
Sit where you like to sit.”

Looking at the table full of dishes, Jiang Dao’s nose moved and asked, “This is all made by Sister Hai Tang alone?”

“Yeah, amazing, right?” Qi Peng smiled proudly.
“Try it.
The cold noodle sauce she made is really good.
You can pick whatever dishes you like.”

“Indeed, it’s been a long time since I had the cold noodles with chicken shreds made by Sister Hai Tang.”

Having known the other party for long, Chu Yinlong was naturally not polite.
He stood up and took out a bowl of noodles, stretched out his chopsticks and took some of each dish, and finally poured the sauce and mixed it well— then put it in front of Jiang Dao.

“Try it.”

Jiang Dao, who was about to get up to grab his own portion of noodles, sat back silently again.

He bit the tip of his chopsticks and smiled as he watched Chu Yinlong mix up another bowl of noodles, and joked, “I made you egg tarts myself, yet you exchanged it with the cold noodles Sister Hai Tang made instead?”

“Tsk,” Chu Yinlong looked at Jiang Dao.
“Then shall I cook tomorrow?”

“Don’t!” Qi Peng quickly stopped him.

“Forget it!” Director Mu also immediately exclaimed by the side.

Jiang Dao was amused: “What? Teacher Chu doesn’t know how to cook?”

Qi Peng looked miserable.
“What he cooks tastes good, but it’s a bit of a waste of the kitchen.”

The Director Mu also recalled a distant memory.
“Before, when he was filming “The God of Cooking” he wanted to learn a few dishes from the chef consultants in the group… Hey, how many pots were burned? I remember that even a metal spatula was burnt?”

Chu Yinlong: …

Jiang Dao was puzzled: “Isn’t a metal spatula made of iron? How can it be burnt?”

Mu Zhixing spread his hands in confusion.
“We were also puzzled, but he somehow did it.
The spatula was completely burnt black, and shattered when touched… Later, when filming, the props team was very nervous throughout the whole process, for fear that he would blow up the stove at any given moment.”

Qi Peng continued the story.
“Afterwards, he cooked at home and caused three fires.
Fortunately, he was not too popular at the time, otherwise the hot search would have hung for days.
This guy moved three times because of these fires, making some people speculate whether he had an enemy who set fire on purpose.”

Jiang Dao: …

“But it’s strange, what he makes tastes really good.” Qi Peng’s face was complicated.
“As long as the kitchen survives, his dishes will be successful.”

“Schrödinger’s cooking.” Cheng Zhiyi said coldly.
“You don’t succeed, but will be successful.”

Everyone laughed.

Hai Tang came over with a plate of cut watermelon and a smile.
“Don’t touch my kitchen these days.
Our conditions are already tough enough.
If you cause another fire, we won’t be able to invite any guests in the future.”

Chu Yinlong quickly changed the subject: “What, you’re still worrying about not being able to invite guests to this show?”

Qi Peng shook his head.
“What’s the use of word of mouth.
This season’s accommodations are really poor, and it’s heavy work up and down the mountain.
Didn’t you see there is no running water in this yard? We have to go down the mountain and collect it from the lake, and then pour it into the water tank on the roof… Why else would I have looked for you so many times?”

Chu Yinlong raised his eyebrows.
“You asked me specially to come and fetch water for you?”

Qi Peng laughed happily: “Ain’t that right.
You were raised as a warrior monk in Huaishan Temple, and should be very skilled in carrying water.”

Chu Yinlong: …

“Brother Peng.” He said lightly.
“I’ve never fetched water at Huaishan Temple.
They have running water.”


ML can’t cook! He’s not perfect

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1Small pun here – re: suffer or to experience suffering is often described as “eating suffering” in Chinese.
If the “eat” is confusing here; I can remove it2Yao = peach.
Yuan = Garden.
To keep it poetic, I used Courtyard instead of residence or house3he treats Cheng Ziyi as his brother, as in senior brother or close friends since they share a set of teachers4as in tiny and cramped

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