ATIS Chapter 9

Translator note: please don’t expect updates this often.
i'll die


directing team -> production team


– – –



It seemed that there were only a few people who were touched like Qin Lu.


Originally, the trainees had relatively similar levels of skill.
Even if there were a few strong ones, they were mostly specialized in certain areas, and their overall strength was not outstanding when averaged out.
Nan Xiao was also very strong, but he was considerably older than most of the others and had faced some difficulties in his journey.
While others might have thoughts in their hearts, it was mostly envy rather than jealousy.


With the emergence of Liao Junchen, it was as if a clear reference point had appeared, instantly contrasting with their own shortcomings and inadequacies.


“If the standard for debut is Liao Junchen’s level of strength, then I think I should just go back home and go to school honestly without dreaming of debuting.” It was clear that more than one trainee was hit.


“This is a dimensionality reduction blow (1)…
My skills don't even come close to touching Liao Junchen's.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to reach this level even after another hundred years of practice.”


“Can't trainees from big companies debut solo or with their labelmates? Why do you have to come to this show and compete for debut spots with us?”


“As expected of Tianmeng Entertainment.
I didn’t think it would be so hard to be 4SEVEN’s junior.
I had thought that just because they were from the same company didn’t mean each one would be so strong.”


“Trainees from big companies are just different…
isn’t it because their trainers are amazing? If I could join Tianmeng, maybe I would have that kind of skill too.”


There were quite a few people feeling sour inside, but most of them didn't show it obviously.
Except for a few who couldn't hold back their words, the rest just kept their thoughts in their hearts.


Liao Junchen, standing in the center of the stage, was too far away to hear exactly what they were saying.
Even if he did hear, given his character, he wouldn't care.


The mentors all gave him a very high evaluation.
Even compared to already-debuted boy groups, his performance exceeded expectations.


Though Liao Junchen never mentioned it, anyone who had learned dance knew in their hearts clearly that his current skill was undoubtedly the result of countless hours of hard work and practice.


Dance was something that would never let down your effort.
If one wanted to dance well, they could only achieve it through constant practice.
There were no shortcuts.
It was just that each person's talent might vary, meaning the level of effort required to reach the same skill was different for everyone.
But to achieve mastery in any discipline required paying unimaginable sweat, tenacity, and perseverance in everyone.


Many people understood the simple truth that “hard work never lies,” but only a small fraction of them truly lived by it.


Liao Junchen was such a person.
As long as it was something he truly wanted to do, he could persist in it for ten years until he touched and broke through the highest barriers time and time again.


This kind of character who relied on absolute self-determination and effort to achieve success evoked an involuntary admiration for his strong personality charm even in those who were not his fans.


Even the trainees who felt uncomfortable watching him had to uncomfortably admit that he was truly deserving of the top A rank.


Perhaps the reason why the stage had the power to touch people was due to the brilliance reflected by the sweat under the spotlight, capable of bringing tears to one's eyes.


The four mentors unanimously gave Liao Junchen an A rank without any objections.
There was a clear smile in Liao Junchen's eyes; after all, he was still young (2).


He bowed in gratitude and carefully attached the A-rank badge to his name tag.


As he stepped onto the pyramid staircase, he received unprecedented attention.
All the trainees couldn't help but gaze at him, watching him climb up step by step.


Liao Junchen didn't display any discomfort from the gazes projected onto him from all around.
However, he walked somewhat slowly, as if searching for something in his surroundings—


Qin Lu didn't think he was looking for him (Qin Lu) until Liao Junchen made eye contact with him and stopped directly in front of him.


The curly-haired boy, who was just watching the performance, was a little dumbfounded.
He thought of calling Liao Junchen a “big god” (3) at first, then considered “big brother,” but then felt it was silly…
In the end, he felt too embarrassed to open his mouth.


Liao Junchen was as concise as ever.
He glanced at the C-rank badge on Qin Lu's clothes and said in a somewhat disjointed manner, “If you need any help, feel free to come to me anytime.”


Qin Lu froze.
After a moment of pondering, it wasn’t surprising, but he couldn't help but show a smile.
Others might not understand what was going on, but he knew it well in his heart.
Liao Junchen was the kind of person who didn't owe anyone favors.
Qin Lu had helped him before, so now he wanted to offer him as meaningful a return as possible.


Qin Lu's current level of strength was clearly far from sufficient to debut on this show.
Liao Junchen was the best mentor for him because he could teach him as much as the four mentors could, but while the mentors couldn't provide one-on-one lessons to individual students, Liao Junchen could.


This was like the sudden appearance of a cheat falling from the sky (4), and Qin Lu had no reason to refuse it.


So, he didn't hesitate to accept and nodded, simply saying, “Then, I'll be troubling you every day from now on.”


Liao Junchen didn’t seem to expect him to agree so readily.
Only after taking a moment to react did he nod.


The camera continued to focus on the two of them, and this sudden interaction puzzled not only the other trainees but also the production team who were familiar with everyone's backgrounds.


The two individuals came from completely different cities, far apart from each other, and they didn't share the same hometown.
In theory, they shouldn't have had any connection.
Could it be that they became close friends in such a short period of time?


Although no one understood what was happening, it was evidently a good interaction.
Audiences enjoyed watching talented individuals smoothly overcome challenges, and they also loved witnessing underdogs counterattacking to the top.
With the combination of these two, the effect was doubled.


Wherever they went, they exuded top-tier group chemistry.
If they ended up debuting together as a group, they would undoubtedly be revered by future fans.
When group fans saw the two of them standing together, they would be moved to tears on the spot, like a fierce tiger shedding tears into the Huangpu River (5).


Originally, the trainees felt a sense of distance from Liao Junchen, but his interaction with Qin Lu raised alarm bells in their hearts.


On one hand, Qin Lu's initial level of skill wasn't perceived as a threat—but with the attention and high popularity that Liao Junchen was likely to attract, his willingness to give Qin Lu personal lessons not only meant that Qin Lu's skills could rapidly improve at an exponential rate, but also that Qin Lu would receive significant screen time with Liao Junchen.


Why was it like this? Why was Liao Junchen willing to help Qin Lu instead of them?


Originally, Liao Junchen's skills far surpassed everyone else, and if he were to secure a debut position, although others might envy and be jealous, they could still accept it.
But Qin Lu's original skill level was far from being on par with a debut position, yet now, with potential assistance from Liao Junchen, he might soar to new heights.
How could they not be anxious about this?


On the other hand, Liao Junchen came from a major entertainment company and his skill level was on a different level from the others.
He didn't seem like the type of person who would initiate conversations with others, and if most others didn't interact with him, the audience might not appreciate a loner like him.
In the future, he would have to train and attend classes with others, and if he kept to himself while others joined groups and had “team spirit”, he would appear out of place.


Now that it was like this (with Qin Lu), Liao Junchen obviously wouldn't lose popularity just because he was less talkative.


Liao Junchen not only had someone to interact with but also gained a reputation for being unafraid of helping those with a C ranking.
The audience would definitely view him through a new filter of “being a good person”.


It too miserable; there were only nine debut spots, and now two of them might be gone all at once.
If there were 97 people competing for seven debut spots, the difficulty would become even more challenging.


However, these thoughts were only held by a portion of the contestants.
The cameras were focused on the trainees, and even if they were thinking a lot of chaotic things in their hearts, it didn't show on the surface.


The trainees each had their own attitudes and some were overthinking, while others didn't care about what others were doing and focused on their own abilities.

After witnessing the exceptional performance just now, the mentors' standards and expectations had been nourished.
The next few stages received average responses from them.


Occasionally, there were a few good performances, but most were assigned a B ranking, and A rankings were very scarce.


The time seemed to pass relatively quickly towards the end, and it was already 2 a.m.
when they reached the final trainee.


“The next trainee is also an independent trainee without a company,” said Producer Cui Zhihao, flipping through the profile.
With a tired laugh, he said, “This trainee must have a lot of patience, waiting from his getting his makeup and hair done in the morning all the way to late at night.
Even I would probably become a bit irritable.”


“Indeed,” Yin Suli rubbed the center of her brows.
“The production team isn’t entirely fair in this regard.
Afterall, the order of appearance can affect individual performances.
Waiting for over ten hours without losing composure is not easy.”


Yin Suli just looked bad-tempered but was actually soft-hearted.


Giving a moment of empathy rare for her, Yin Suli took a sip of iced coffee to refresh herself and hesitated, saying, “Even if his performance isn't good, let's not give him an F.
If he performs well, I'll bump him up a grade, and if it's really bad, I'll give him a D.
What do you think?”


The mentors had no objections, and Yin Suli even turned around to ask the exhausted trainees behind her if they agreed.
No one objected.


Everyone wanted to finish recording and go back to sleep.
The thought of having to carry their luggage, move into the dormitory, and tidy up their rooms for the night made them feel pitiful.


However, the mentors would soon realize that this trainee, who had been waiting from day to night, was completely different from what they had imagined.


– – –


Translation notes


(1) Dimensionality reduction blow: difficult to find online, but from what I understand, it’s a blow that reduces the dimension of the target, allowing one to destroy the object.
Just think of it in this way: the trainee felt like he was reduced a dimension and his existence threatened by Liao Junchen’s performance lol

(2) Most likely referring to how he was unable to suppress his happiness because he is young

(3) Dashen (大神)is colloquial title given to people you really admire and respect.
It comes up a lot in gaming novels.
The da (big) part of it tacked on typically indicates respect (like in the big brother su qinglan considered afterwards).
Sometimes the big brother part can also be translated into “boss”

(4) “天而降的外挂” more accurately, it means a hack or cheat that fell from the sky.
Sky in this context means the heavens or god, so this phrase refers to a miracle cheat that appeared out of nowhere, sent from the heavens.

(5) 都能当场猛虎落泪泪洒黄浦江。absolutely incomprehensible in English, but refers to something so poignant and so touching it can drive a fierce tiger to cry to the point where tears fall into the huangpu river (river in shanghai).
Conveys a universality of sentiment—even the fierce were touched


Also, I didn’t mention this before, but the raws call Su Qinglan “curly hair” which while cute seemed a bit strange to me, so I changed it to Curly-haired boy.
Tell me if you prefer curly hair


– – –


Translator’s note


The parts in brackets are mostly likely added by me, simply for clarity.

Damn this author does a lot of explanation.
To be fair, it’s a lot more concise in mandarin; it may feel little longwinded in some parts of the novel, but the pacing is actually quite decent.
It’s just that we don’t have enough chapters to make it feel fast sorry rip


Mandarin and English are very different, so I’ve done a lot of editing.
Would you prefer many footnotes or less? I can convert a lot of the Chinese idioms into their English equivalents, but I feel like that makes the text lose it’s essence.



more personal notes:


it’s funny to listen to these ppl galaxy braining while Qin Lu and Liao Junchen are just chilling


the next chapter is hilarious by the way.
i love all the characters in this novel way too much…

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