Chapter 418: Great Performance
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Just as Feng Xuan was watching Famous, Famous began watching him too. Famous realized that it might just be a coincidence that Feng Xuan had extended his left hand to take its resume, perhaps it was because his left side was closer to the assistant. So, it took this detail into its heart, and when Feng Xuan picked up a pen with his left hand, Famous was finally sure that he was left-handed.
Although many left-handed people were accustomed to using their right hands for handshakes, most of them were still more comfortable with their left hands. Therefore, Famous decided to deliberately extend its right forepaw first, withdraw it, and re-extend its left forepaw. Wasn’t this how an audition worked? Demonstrating how different it was from other dogs, showing that it was stronger than any other dog, and impressing all the directors and producers with full force and defeating its competitors was its goal.
At other times, Famous could be modest and reserved, but at that moment in the audition, it had to use this unique talent to win the hearts of all the judges.
Famous couldn’t tell why it knew this. But when it entered the room, it seemed as if some familiar feelings had returned to its body. Maybe it had participated in auditions before... but now was not the time to think about such matters. It was staring at Feng Xuan, engrossed, and waited for the next instruction.
Among all the people present in the room, only his assistant knew that Feng Xuan was left-handed. As a new acquaintance, Nie Yuan did not know about this, not to mention Zhang Zian who had just walked in, so it was impossible for Zhang Zian to have prompted Famous secretly.
Nie Yuan said with astonishment, "What an amazing dog, it actually knew that I was left-handed... Mr. Zhang, how did you train it? Does it have a unique talent?"
Before Zhang Zian could speak, he heard Sheng Ke chime in, "Director Nie, you are so funny. If it did not have some real skills, would I have dared to bring it here so brazenly?"
Nie Yuan became even more surprised. He asked curiously, "What kind of unique talent does it have exactly?"
Sheng Ke smiled, "That I can’t tell you, because after all, his business relies on that. But what I can tell you is that not only is he a dog trainer, but also a famous cat trainer in Binhai City! The cats in his shop can dance to music — they can dance better than I — and don’t be fooled by his fragile look. He is a real Kung Fu Master — even our police officers were impressed by his fighting methods! How about that, Director Nie, can you imagine?"
When Famous got the limelight, it meant that Zhang Zian had also drawn attention to himself, which also indicated that as the referrer, Sheng Ke could also share the glory. Two days ago, when Zhang Zian asked him about the audition, Sheng Ke did not expect much because after all, Zhang Zian was a cat trainer and not a dog trainer, so he might have no advantage participating in the audition, but out of the purpose of returning Zhang Zian’s favor, Sheng Ke helped him register for the audition. To his surprise, Famous was a blockbuster, shocking everyone in the room.
Sheng Ke was constantly boasting about Zhang Zian’s abilities, with the implication that since the crew was satisfied with this dog, they should quickly return all the dogs belonging to his police force…
Feng Xuan mechanically shook hands with Famous while staring into its eyes and listening to Sheng Ke tout Zhang Zian. Then, he began to re-examine this young man in front of him. Not only had he done a superb job in training this dog, but he could also train cats, and also was a genuine martial arts master? If what Sheng Ke said was all true, then this young man was really incredible...
The other resumes on the table seemed so ridiculous now – the so-called glories of the past could not fully reflect the true abilities of the dogs and their owners at the present time.
He remembered what his wife said, that there were a lot of brilliant talents hidden among ordinary people.
"What's your name again? It’s Zhang Zian, right?" Feng Xuan's interest in Famous was partially transferred to Zhang Zian, with his tone becoming more friendly and not as indifferent as when Zhang Zian had just come in.
"Yes," Zhang Zian nodded. "I run a pet shop in Binhai City."
"Oh, so what Captain Sheng said is true? You can not only train cats and dogs, but are also a martial arts master?" Feng Xuan asked with interest.
Zhang Zian bit the bullet and replied, "Well... it’s true that I can train cats and dogs, but as for Kung Fu… although I am fortunate enough to have a prestigious teacher to guide me, I have mediocre talents and I have numerous trivial things to attend to. I have only grasped a few moves, and I’m afraid I’m not qualified enough to claim myself to be a martial arts master…"
He had to admit that he could train cats and dogs; otherwise, there were too many aspects that were simply unexplainable. As for Kung Fu, he was also telling the truth — without help from Famous, he was probably only slightly stronger than ordinary people.
"May I ask who your respected teacher is?" Nie Yuan said in an impromptu manner. "Our Tie Dun Film and Television Center has connections with many famous martial arts specialists. Tell me, maybe I know your teacher, too."
How shameless! Of course you don’t know him!
Zhang Zian was secretly complaining about him in his heart, but then he vaguely said, "My Kung Fu teacher has admonished me again and again not to disclose his name. He doesn’t want anyone to disturb his life, so I am afraid I cannot tell you."
"This..." Nie Yuan was displeased, thinking that Sheng Ke had exaggerated a bit in his touting. Everyone in the martial arts circle paid particular attention to the succession of teaching from a master to his disciples. If Zhang Zian did not dare to say his master’s name, perhaps his was just a farmer in a village claiming to be Kung Fu Master. There were a lot of such people ...
"Well, Director Nie, brilliant talents are hidden among people. If he is unwilling to reveal his identity, you shouldn’t force him," Feng Xuan interrupted Nie Yuan's questioning, and spoke up for Zhang Zian.
Feng Xuan found Sheng Ke's words somewhat credible, because after re-examination of Zhang Zian, he found that the young man was standing upright and firm, but not as rigid as a soldier. Chest up, eyes brimming with a radiating vigor, he walked briskly like the wind. Emanating energy from head to toe, he vaguely had the demeanor of a great master. Even if this young man didn’t know Kung Fu, at least he had exercised his body well, which was very rare among young people nowadays.
These details could be captured by Feng Xuan, but Nie Yuan didn’t notice them. After all, Nie Yuan was a middle-level leader in the Tie Dun Film and Television Center who was responsible for administrative work like fundraising and sponsorships. It would be unrealistic to expect him, who was only occasionally assigned to supervise film crews, to make such observations.
"Mr. Zhang, we are supposed to to test some other simple instructions as well, but your dog is so good that it can probably skip this step..." Feng Xuan said, "But I really want to know if it can do some more complicated actions?"
"What do you mean?" Zhang Zian asked.
Feng Xuan looked at Famous, "For example, playing dead."
Everyone except for Zhang Zian was staring at Famous, but it did not move.
"Play dead." Feng Xuan aggravated his tone and said again.
Zhang Zian understood why Famous did not move. Feng Xuan's expression was not precise enough, so it couldn’t implement the order.
"Director Feng, there are many kinds of playing dead," he reminded. "For example, shot to death, death by old age, hit by a car. You just said, ‘play dead’ vaguely — do you expect my dog to show every type?"
Sheng Ke anxiously glared at Zhang Zian. I’ve bragged enough for you, stop boasting about yourself before the bubble bursts! thought Sheng Ke.
"Well..." Feng Xuan wondered if this dog could actually perform different kinds of death.
He thought for a moment, and decided to give it a try.
Since Zhang Zian had mentioned death by gunshot, age, and car crash, then the dog had probably learned these beforehand. Feng Xuan would say a method that Zhang Zian did not mention.
He stared at Famous and said, "Die of illness."
Upon hearing his instruction, Famous’s body shuddered. It bent its limbs slowly, lowering its head, weakly panting while lying on the ground.
Was this its performance of death? Although it was not bad, it was much stronger than other dogs’, but its playing dead was not as stunning as its handshake… Feng Xuan felt disappointed again.
However, this was only the beginning.
A low, desolate whimper came from the throat of Famous. As if it could no longer support its body, its posture changed from lying on its belly to lying on its side on the ground, exposing its stomach.
From the frequency of the rise and fall of its stomach, people could clearly feel its breathing was getting increasingly rapid and brief.
Famous’s mouth was slightly open, and its tongue had drooped onto the ground, with white foam flowing out alongside its tongue.
Its eyes were half-closed and its body was no longer moving. Only its limbs twitched occasionally, and it would sweep its tail from time to time to show that it had not quite died yet.
Its eyes, looking at Feng Xuan, had gradually lost their sparkle. Mouth opening and closing, it seemed like it was expressing its attachment to this world.
The room was surprisingly quiet. Everyone held their breath and watched the performance of Famous unbelievably. Nie Yuan even quietly pulled at Zhang Zian and whispered, "Is it really sick?"
Suddenly, Famous’s eyes opened wide, its pupils emanating a breathtaking glory, and then it stopped breathing, and the glow dimmed and faded away...
Famous had really stopped breathing. Its stomach was no longer undulating, and even the dust near its nostrils was motionless.
Zhang Zian looked at it as he had looked at Puppy on that day in the dog market. The dying of the Guangxi rural dog, including the look in its eyes, had been thoroughly recreated by Famous… Zhang Zian suddenly felt that the look in the eyes of Famous was strange. This had gone beyond the scope of a "performance" — he could almost say that Famous had been possessed by that Guangxi rural dog…
Famous’s performance was too real. Nie Yuan was somewhat panicked. With goose bumps all over his body, he pulled the assistant over and said, "Is it really dead? Go check if it is dead. Touch its nose, see if it is breathing."
The assistant, who was dumbfounded, remained motionless even Nie Yuan had made his command, as if he was afraid to interfere with this great performance.
Was this even a dog? Even a person could not perform so vividly!
Completely touched by this unparalleled acting, Feng Xuan thought about when his own Labrador died. Unknowingly, tears were falling from the corners of his eyes.
Zhang Zian squatted down to complete the final step in the death performance. He closed its eyelids for Famous.