Chapter 3 – Small Fry in Jianghu

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Forget Worries Bar’s backstage area is a big room off to the side. In that big room, there were two smaller rooms.

The backstage belonged to the bar’s singers.

The big outer room had a row of makeup tables, a storage box, and five or six soft chairs for resident singers and on-demand singers. The two inner rooms had a sofa, tv, liquor cabinet, private restrooms, etc. They were green rooms1 for contracted singers and bands.

Even though they all sang in the bar, the singers’ statuses were very different.

When Lu Chen went into the room, there were two resident singers in there, one male and one female. The male singer was playing on his phone while the female singer was putting on makeup. Neither of them heeded Lu Chen as he walked into the room.

It was because in this circle, Lu Chen’s status was the lowest.

“Hello Brother Ye, Sister Hong!”

Lu Chen greeted the two people like usual then sat in his seat and set down his guitar case.

His seat was all the way in the corner of the backstage area.

The male singer indifferently acknowledged Lu Chen. However, the female singer put down her makeup and smiled, “Little Lu, you were late today. You must have been criticized by the boss already? Haha!”

Sister Hong was over thirty years old this year. She had already stayed at Forget Worries Bar for five years. She specialized in love ballads and her voice was not bad. Even though her appearance wasn’t anything special, she had some fame in the Houhai bar singers circle.

However, when compared to the contracted singer of Forget Worries Bar, Zhang Nana – Sister Na, she is sorely lacking.

Nevertheless, she maintained an arrogant condescending attitude towards Lu Chen. The question sounded like it was asked out of concern but, in reality, there was a hint of mocking and teasing.

If it was Lu Chen from yesterday, he would’ve definitely became gloomy and depressed with anger in his heart with no way to vent it.

However, in his dreams, he had experienced the lives of three different people. His psyche had already underwent a change that even he couldn’t sense. He indifferently smiled and said, “Thank you Sister Hong for your concern. I have admitted my mistake to the boss already.”

Sister Hong was startled. She couldn’t even say the words she wanted to say.

She lightly snorted then no longer paid Lu Chen any attention and picked up the makeup that she put down.

The door to one of the green rooms suddenly opened, a man wearing a black jacket and with long hair came out.

“Brother Qin!”

Sister Hong and the male singer reacted quickly. They instantly stood up and greeted the other person.

Lu Chen was a beat late but also stood up and greeted, “Hello, Brother Qin…”

This man wearing a jacket was Brother Qin; Qin Hanyang was a big figure at Forget Worries Bar. He is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Wandering Band and an irreplaceable figure in the band. Even Boss Chen Jianhao was polite towards him.

Wandering Band is a permanent at Forget Worries Bar. There are a total of 5 members – other than QIn Hanyang, there was the lead guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist.

It wasn’t easy for a bar like Forget Worries Bar to support a band. However, conversely, the existence of the band increased the bar’s reputation and population. Therefore, they were fully deserving of being considered one of the pillars of the bar.

Qin Hanyang was expressionless and only nodded his head in response.

He picked up the sheets of paper on the makeup table then returned to his green room and closed his door.

Sister Hong and the male singer’s complexion inevitably became a little embarrassed,. However, the two of them simply did not have the same qualifications as Qin Hanyang. A word from Qin Hanyang could get them fired from Forget Worries Bar and, subsequently, no longer be able to be a part of the Houhai entertainment circle.  

Lu Chen silently chuckled in his heart. His position and Qin Hanyang’s position was simply too far apart. He also had no ambitions in increasing his own social status. Naturally, he wouldn’t care about the other party’s attitude and he certainly wouldn’t embarrass himself by kissing up to Qin Hanyang.

A bar is a little Jianghu and Lu Chen was only a small fry in this little Jianghu.

He once again sat down and began combing his hair.

Forget Worries Bar’s ambience and Sanlitun’s2 atmosphere with fish and dragon intermixed 3 were very different. The pop singers with their scruffy, decadent, and outlandish costume were not very popular at Forget Worries Bar. Therefore, one’s image was very important.

The host’s voice could already be heard from the stage outside, indicating the start of the stage warm up.

Lu Chen needed to hurry up and get ready. His turn was coming fast.

As for what song he was going to sing, he already had an idea in mind.

In the lively atmosphere created by the host’s jokes, the server that was previously at the bar’s entrance sneakily snuck into the sound booth to the right of the stage.

The sound booth was very small. Inside, there were the sound controls, lighting equipment, and a computer. All kinds of cables and wires were in the sound booth and were densely packed like a spider web. Red, blue, and green LEDs flickered non-stop.

Sitting inside this veritable spider web is a fatty that weighed more than 100kg. He wore a massive monitoring headphones and was currently bobbing his head up and down to a song. On the workstation in front of him, there was even a half-eaten hamburger.

“Fatty, fatty!”

The server yelled twice in succession but the other person didn’t hear anything. Left with no other choice, the server was forced to give him a shove.

The fatty instantly opened his eyes and looked at the server. He subconsciously wrinkled his brow, removed his headphones, and annoyedly asked, “Little Gao, you’re receiving guests outside. Why did you run over to my place? Leave, go away!”

He was the sound technician in the sound booth. In this little room, even if Chen Jianhao came, Chen Jianhao would still have to listen to him.

Little Gao naturally knew this. He promptly smiled and presented a Kingway beer 4.

The fatty accepted the beer without a shred of politeness, gave Little Gao a glance and said, “Talk. You wouldn’t ingratiate yourself for nothing. What do you want? I’ll go ahead and say the ugly words. If it’s a small matter, it would be easy to talk it over. If it’s a big matter, don’t bother bringing it up.”

“It really is a small thing…”

Little Gao immediately roused his spirits, and promptly took the opportunity to move beside the fatty and whisper a few words.

The fatty’s complexion became weirder the more he listened. He said, “you little brat sure exaggerate, this can still be considered a small matter?”

Little Gao also laughed and said, “It really is a small matter. I just feel uncomfortable looking at Lu Chen. I want to give him a lesson and let this little pretty boy that doesn’t put anyone in his eyes know that you can’t just rely on your face here at Forget Worries Bar.

“En…”

The fatty thoughtfully nodded and lifted his hand to stroke his fleshy chin. He said, “Your argument makes sense. Even though he is handsome, his singing is bad. He didn’t go to Sanlitun to become a young master but came to Houhai to pretend to be a young artist and even needs this fatty to clean up his mess. This… isn’t this putting the cart before the horse?”

Little Gao laughed evilly and said, “Yes, yes, fatty bro. You are also doing what’s best for him…”

His expression suddenly changed. He pointed at the window in the sound booth and exclaimed, “Lu Chen got on the stage!”

The wall between the sound booth and the stage had a one-way window. The people inside could see the entire stage but the people outside couldn’t see what’s inside.

The person with a guitar that was walking onto the stage. If it wasn’t Lu Chen who could it be?

“Fatty, hurry up and do it!”

Little Gao’s eyes stared at Lu Chen unwavering, his mouth nervously urging the fatty.

“There’s no need to get nervous!”

The fatty glared at Little Gao and said, “I’m counting in my head, there’s no need for you to teach me how to do things!”

As he said this, he reached out and pushed a button on the sound control board. The audio tuner’s LED indicator immediately dimmed.

Houhai bars’ singers are basically live singers and plays with live accompaniment. If people don’t have ability, it was hard to mingle there. However, a singer’s voice can be adjusted in the sound booth. Sound technicians have the ability to make something magical out of garbage and fix the music to sound good.

Real music technician professionals disdained to work in a bar. Forget Worries Bar was likewise unable to invite a professional. Therefore, Houhai’s sound adjustment used semi-professional music technicians coupled with professional level equipment, easily deceiving amateurs.

Among the customers of the bar, even though there were knowledgable business insiders, there weren’t many. Those that knew the inside story were even less likely to point it out.

Lu Chen’s performance ability was mediocre. He only got the opportunity to go on the stage and perform for some extra income because of his handsome experience and fatty’s tuning skills.

What made the fatty mad was that Lu Chen never even gave him any benefits. He was even more self-important than the resident singers.

Therefore, now that Little Gao incited him, his resentment came out and he turned off the audio tuner.

This way, when Lu Chen performs on the stage, there will be no audio adjustments and his sounds will be directly broadcasted through the hundred thousand dollar JBL speakers.

The truth would be revealed!

The fatty chuckled and gave a glance to Little Gao, “you just wait for a good show!”

Little Gao nodded his head vigorously and excitedly clenched his fist — Lu Chen, let’s see if you have any face to continue playing at Forget Worries Bar!

At this moment, Lu Chen was clueless and didn’t know that he was being schemed against.

He sat on the stool, right hand hugging the guitar, left hand adjusting the microphone’s angle.

Since it was around 8:00 PM and it was coincidentally the weekend, the amount of customers at the bar kept increasing. At the moment, two-thirds of the seats were already taken and, among them, there were many regular customers.

Lu Chen finished his preparations and spoke into the microphone, “Thank you everybody, welcome to Forget Worries Bar. I will be performing first today with the song Soaring Pigeon. I hope everyone enjoys!”

There was some scattered applause in the bar. A few female customers that recognized Lu Chen whistled roguishly.  

“Come on Little Lu!”

A lot of customers smiled and the atmosphere began to warm up and become lively.

Lu Chen blushed, waved his hand, and got ready for his performance.

“Brother Jianhao…”

Behind the stage, that charming lady looked towards Lu Chen that was on the stage. A light flickered in her eyes, “this little brat’s appearance isn’t bad. He has a lady-killer charm and can perform. Let him come to my company.”

“Him?”

Chen Jianhao laughed involuntarily, shook his head and said, “Little Lu’s appearance is decent but his performance ability is too amateur. Performing here to fill in the gaps is his limit. In addition, he has to rely on the audio tuner in the back. Do you really want to sign him?”

“Never mind…”

The charming lady decisively said, “I don’t want someone without a foundation. My small company won’t be able to support him.”

The capital has three things in abundance: an abundance of government officials, an abundance of wealthy people, and an abundance of handsome guys and beautiful ladies. People with remarkable appearances could be found everywhere.

In the capital, music alone has three big music schools, plus all sorts of music training institutions. Every year, there are countless new people that come to the capital. Why waste the time and energy to raise a brat with no foundations?

The charming lady spoke without much consideration and didn’t really pay her words any mind.

It was at this time that Lu Chen strummed his guitar strings.

  1. Green rooms refers to the space in a theatre or similar venue that functions as a waiting room and lounge for performers before and after a performance, and during the show when they are not engaged on stage.
  2. an area of the Chaoyang District, Beijing containing many popular bar streets and international stores. It is a popular destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.
  3. Chinese idiom that basically means “good and bad mixed together”. In this case it points to the abundance of entertainers, both good and bad in Sanlitun.
  4. Kingway Brewery Holdings Limited is a leading beer maker in China.

DarkShadowScorch

Some people want to watch the world burn. I consider myself one of them.

No, I’m not an edgy teen. I’m a VERY edgy teen (my username says it all).

Don’t mind me.

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Comments (2)

  1. Chronos5884 · Mar 31, 2018

    Thanks for the chapter!

  2. aFallenleaf · Dec 29, 2017

    Thanks for the chapter!
    I think we're about to see the first faceslapping in this story :D hurhur