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Arc 1: University Thriller
Chapter 1: Seeing a Movie
In twos and threes, couples and office workers alike all lined up at the cinema's doors, chatting about movies while waiting to purchase their tickets.
This cinema was part of the nation's largest chain of movie theatres; there was a number of them in every city. In order to allow the audience a more hands-on and enjoyable experience, the cinema recently released a new way of viewing movies.
To simply put it, they would insert the audience's brain waves into the movie and give them cannon folder roles. As passersby, they can experience the movie first-hand.
However, if they displayed an outstanding performance for their roles and received a high grade, the cinema will once again release the movie with their performance included.
Immersing themselves into the film was much more exhilarating than just sitting down and watching it.
This new way of viewing immediately blew up.
Romance movies were the most popular; schoolgirls and boys all wanted to be together with their Gods and Goddesses.
Even if it was a rare piece of bad film, people still wished to go in and experience it. After all, they can go back and forcibly reverse the bad plot. Once their grade is high enough, the movie can be shown again and the box record's high score will be exceeded.
However, horror movies are to the interest of no one.
Currently, the cinema was the place where practically every student and office worker would gather once they are finished with school or work.
Everybody wanted to reverse the plot; everybody wanted to change from a cannon folder to the protagonist.
At the entrance of the cinema, Su Min and his roommates huddled together.
It was the first time they were going to experience this new way of "seeing" a film. Only, Su Min's roommates wanted to play in a romance movie while he wanted to play in a horror movie.
That's right, a horror movie.
Knowing what Su Min wanted to do, his two roommates couldn't help but try to persuade him otherwise. One roommate said, "Su Min, do you really want to experience a horror movie? Once you're in, it might scare you to death. It's better to go to the literary film and date, like us."
The other roommate picked up with, "Exactly, exactly. Look at the theater for the horror movie. Up 'till now, I haven't seen anyone go in. Let's just go play in the Mary Sue film together, okay?"
The two earnestly advised.
Because the fright level was still undetermined, nobody had tried to experience a horror movie yet. If by any chance a problem occurs during a fright, the cinema will have to compensate for the damages.
Even before the advancement of movie watching, there were people who were frightened to death whilst watching a horror movie. Now that they can immerse their whole mind into the movie, wouldn't it be much more frightening?
Su Min said, "It's alright. It's just a horror movie."
The roommates saw that he was set firm on his decision and no longer tried to advise him. They went to buy tickets for the romance film.
Romance and horror were two vastly different genres, so they each have their own designated ticket booth.
After Su Min handed over his ID, the cashier gave him the ticket. On it were the words "University Thriller".
It was no different from an ordinary movie ticket.
At the end of the hall, Su Min could see the poster for "University Thriller". The background showed a school with several starring actors trying to escape from the inside. On the top was the movie's name, it's font dripping with blood.
En… It should be a bad movie.
Not only was it bad, but it was also a horror featuring ghosts. No wonder all the audience members chose to watch it the normal way instead.
The cashier reminded him, "To experience the horror movie, you must first sign an agreement."
She handed him the form.
Su Min read it. It basically stated that people with heart disease are not permitted to experience the movie, and that if anyone was truly afraid and couldn't take it anymore, they can notify the cinema and be pulled out.
That was reasonable enough.
Real information was required when buying tickets; the cinema used that information to search for a suitable role. It was also possible to add to the script.
If a person had a specific request in mind, they can pay extra to customize the role for say, someone more wealthy and well off.
If not, they will begin as an ordinary canon folder. Cannon folders in horror movies are usually alive for about a mere three minutes, which was why nobody wanted to experience it.
Su Min signed his name and handed the form back to the cashier. He followed a staff member to the designated theater and, to his surprise, found that he was the only one there.
"Am I really the only one?" he asked.
"Yes, you are, sir," the staff replied.
Su Min gave a sigh in his heart; having a theater all to himself was rare.
"Mr. Su, if you are afraid, you can press this bell and we will immediately come to get you out. Right now, you are the first to experience a horror movie."
Su Min nodded, "Okay, I know."
The staff looked at his unperturbed appearance and was a little amazed. "After you enter, the cinema will give you the script, and the information for your role will appear in your mind. If you complete the script, you can come out in advance and see if the storyline was changed. If it did, you can act accordingly to the situation."
He looked at the boy in front of him and wondered why such a good looking student would choose a horror movie of all things. Indeed, you can't judge a person by their appearance.
I hope this horror movie won't scare him too much.
What the staff had said was what came out on Weibo.
Su Min also knew that if he successfully alters the bad ending, the rerelease of the movie will be shown and he would become one of the actors.
The staff slightly smiled. "I wish you a pleasant experience."
After he left, Su Min put on the headset. In front of him was a big screen showcasing the words "University Thriller".
In fact, the information for this movie had appeared on Weibo before.
In order to conserve the mysterious vibe, the director had kept his lips sealed about the movie's content. All that was known was that after the university experienced a supernatural phenomenon, the protagonist and secondary protagonist was roped along for the ride.
However, that was something anyone with an average IQ could guess.
The director was actually very famous in the industry, but he was only well-known for his literary films. He could've continued being overpraised in the circle, but instead, he chose to change paths and started to shoot horror movies. One by one, they were stomped on in the streets.
During the shooting of the first horror movie, all the young idols took it as a big cake and ate it up.
Then, the movie succeeded … in becoming a target for rotten tomatoes.
When the selection of actors for the second movie began, everyone felt that the bad hit was accidental, and therefore, still went to eat the cake.
And, it was cold again.
"University Thriller" was the fourth one. This time, not many actors wanted to take this cake, so the director had no choice but to work with mostly new actors.
This movie was released at the same time the new way of viewing came out so Su Min was one of the first people to see it.
It was also the first time he was going to experience a horror, so he doesn't know what to expect.
A message appeared before his eyes: [Hello, Su Min. Are you ready to enter and experience "University Thriller"?]
Su Min replied, "Yes, I'm ready."
The next moment, his vision faded into darkness.
It was unknown how much time passed after he fell into a slumber. The lights in the theater gradually dimmed, painting the entire hall into darkness. The movie began to play.
The words on the big screen radiated a faint, indistinctive glow.
Inside the male's dormitory.
Due to the school's regulations, lights had to be turned off at 11 P.M. at the latest. It was now 11:50. Outside, the balcony was pitch black.
Then, there was a glow in the dorm room and Su Min was stimulated to wake up.
When he opened his eyes, he found himself standing in front of a mirror with the lights turned off. Laying on the counter was a red candle, its flame swaying in an eerie, intangible manner.
In his hand was a half-peeled apple. The red skin hanged from the body of the fruit, dangling over the bathroom sink.
The key thing to notice was the red nightgown he was wearing. The two of its shoulder straps were tiny and exposed his collarbones. Fortunately, it did enough to cover his chest.
This situation was a bit awkward.
Su Min was confused.
What was going on? What was he doing to himself?
The him in the mirror appeared to be at a loss; his image was pathetic as a whole and even downright ridiculous.
What was horrifying was the darkness that surrounded him.
Su Min's heart turned cold when his mind finally understood the situation at hand.
Please, Jing Xian.
Legend has it that if you wore red pajamas at midnight and set aflame a red candle in front of the mirror before finishing one complete peel of an apple, you will see the appearance of your other half. However, if the peel was disconnected, you and your other half will immediately die.
Su Min: "…"
Could he have been sleepwalking in the middle of the night to play Jian Xian?
At that moment, the cinema's prompt came: [Hello, Su Min. Please receive your script as soon as possible.]
Su Min accepted and read it silently.
An electrical light flashed in his mind. The cinema's script allowed him to remember where he was.
Canon folder script. As the name implies, it was a script for canon folders.
Unlike the protagonist who had the strings of fate connecting them from beginning to end, canon folders usually do not live long enough to see the finale, so the script didn't have that much information.
Su Min's script only contained the scene of his character's death, so the content of the whole movie was unclear.
All that was included was an apple peeling scene.
This character had the same name as him. He was cutting an apple in search for his other half, but it didn't take long before the skin broke. Naturally, the request for Jian Xian failed, and the character ended up dying in an obscure manner.
I can't even live for a minute.
Su Min began to think that the viewers who chose not to experience a horror movie made the right choice; the money used to purchase the ticket only resulted in one minute of play and blood loss.
The apple was already halfway cut. He could only get this over with.
Su Min had never peeled a fruit continuously. More often than not, he would eat the skin directly, and if he did peel it, he would do so at random.
He was in a difficult situation.
Su Min whispered, "I hope Jian Xian doesn't mind."
His speed was slowed down by a lot for the fear of breaking the apple peel. However, he was in a horror movie, so who knew whether or not it would disconnect at random.
After all, his death in the script was due to the broken peel.
Maybe it was because the more anxious he was, the more likely a mishap would occur, but Su Min accidentally cut a little too close to the surface. He looked at the skin tottering over the edge of the sink, just barely hanging on.
Su Min couldn't help but breathe out a sigh of relief.
Mom sells patches, so nervous, so irritating.
At this moment, the candlelight slightly flickered, as if a gust of wind passed through.
Su Min pursed his lip and did not pause as he continued to peel. He ignored the ineffable chill that went up his spine and straight into his heart.
He subconsciously raised his head.
Then, Su Min saw a vague silhouette of a face in the mirror. It was as if someone was standing beside him, staring into the mirror with him.
Those pair of eyes seemed to be staring at him.
Su Min sucked in a sharp breath and lowered his head. His lips parted and he mouthed out the core values of socialism, "Prosperity, democracy, civility…"
One word after the other.
Maybe it was because the party's glory had shone on him, but Su Min eventually calmed down. He continued to recite the words while gingerly peeling the fruit.
The whole apple was tremendous, resembling that of the peace apple that people gave each other during Christmas. It was almost completely peeled, and he estimated he would finish in about a minute.
Su Min stopped.
Occasionally, he would find himself positioning the knife in the wrong way and that would scare his soul out of him.
Fortunately, his luck was good and the peel was steadily increasing in size. There was only a section left before he would have a full peel.
Su Min widened his eyes, intending to witness this last miraculous moment.
Only a section left. He placed his knife in preparation to cut only to see the peel being lifted up, then ripped in thin air.
A natural break was impossible; it had been torn off.
Su Min, "…" Good grievances.
There was no one here but him. Only a ghost could've done it.
The whole bathroom began to lit up with a feeble red glow from the candlelight like the horror movie had placed it there just for these sort of circumstances. His face could be seen entirely, and the face beside him revealed more form in the mirror.
Looking at this less than reassuring situation, Su Min was about to throw the apple and run away, but he was stopped by an ice-cold hand gripping his wrist.
He couldn't see it.
His hand was then lifted up, and suddenly, there was a chunk missing from the apple, as if somebody had just taken a bite.
Su Min stood at a deadlock. The seconds seemed to drag on until the ice-cold feeling on his wrist disappeared.
He glanced at the mirror and caught sight of a man's silhouette. He was moving his mouth. My god, Su Min was certain the shadow had eaten the apple.
He couldn't help but ask, "You, are you sick?"
After that impulse, he only just remembered his deadly situation at hand and was filled with regret. Not wanting to die after just one minute of experience, he decisively turned around and ran away.
The moment he was out of the bathroom, Su Min felt a wisp of cold air behind him.
Then, he felt something feeling up his butt.
∆ ∆ ∆
Weibo: Chinese microblogging website. Kinda like Twitter and FB.
they were stomped on in the streets: They were so bad people wanted to step on them.
big cake: They thought the movie would become a success and wanted to ride on its coattails(I think…).
rotten tomatoes: The original raw was 然后这部成功扑街, which roughly translates to "then, the film was pounced on in the streets"(like my 2nd note). I translated it to something more commonly used in English.
Jing Xian: Mirror Fairy. It sounded weird in English, so I kept it in Chinese. He was in a difficult situation: The original text was 这简直是在为难胖虎, and I didn't know how to translate Chinese internet slang so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (I think it has something to do with Doraemon.)
Mom sells patches(妈卖批): Apparently it means your mom is prostituting. It's a swear term and is very offensive, but can be used when angry or dissatisfied.
Peace fruit: : "In Mandarin, 'Christmas Eve' translates to Ping'anye (平安夜, the evening of peace), which also happens to sound a lot like the Chinese word for 'apple' or pingguo (苹果). Chinese people have taken the cleverness one step further and given a special name to these Christmas apples: ping'anguo (平安果), or 'peace apples.'"
Hello to all those who are joining me on this journey of translating To Be a Fan in a Horror Movie. ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿ I’m riding this blind since I’m reading as I translate. So, no spoilers; I need the suspense to fuel me.
For translating, I’m using several MTLs and online dictionaries. If shit doesn’t line up or if there’s some sketchy grammar going on, tell me and I’ll fix it. I’m planning on updating once a week on either Saturday or Sunday, but no promises. Until next week~
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