Chapter 43: Word of Mouth
In the patent office's main hall.
"Are you sure you don't want to go? Hyrlan, that's a VIP seat ticket. I hear that it costs more than a thousand gold coins. That's more than two months of my salary."
Hyrlan's classmate, Sansa had finished her morning shift and was chatting quietly with her friend in a corner of the main hall.
"You just started working here. Besides, I'm really not interested in the Blackswan Theater."
, Hyrlan thought to herself.
Instead of watching live theater, she would rather re-watch "Beauty and the Demon" again.
Hyrlan was violently reminded of the fact that the movie was officially premiering on this very day.
She may not have been an expert in the performing arts, but she felt that "Beauty and the Demon" was far more captivating than those dull stage shows. In fact, the movie was probably more moving than any other theater show in history.
Remembering the scene where the demon died in Belle's arms made her nose scrunch up again.
A plain but cruel fact presented itself to Hyrlan; once Weissenasche Theater started to promote the movie, the chances of her being able to procure a ticket was…
Close to zero!
From the way Norland's residents snatched up the pricey tickets in no time to enjoy the shows by Blackswan Theater, it was obvious that the people did not mind spending to indulge in such things.
If a person had to be lucky, or rather, be of status and know the right people just to get a normal ticket for a show by Blackswan Theater…
Hyrlan did not come from a particularly outstanding pedigree. She was only a student in a normal academy, though she had good grades.
"Sansa, I know a theater that's showing something even more… shocking than that Blackswan company has to offer. Would you be interested to join me?"
Hyrlan could not think of a better word to describe movies. That particular movie had touched her heart and shaken her greatly.
"Another theater? Weissenasche… Hasn't that theater been dormant for a long time now?"
Sansa had been following the happenings in the world of theater closely.
"I'm afraid your intel is outdated, Sansa."
By then, Joshua was back in the main hall, and he had been listening quietly to their conversation from the side, waiting for the right time to interrupt.
"You're… Hyrlan's friend. Are you her boy—"
Before Sansa could finish, Hyrlan put a hand on her mouth and glanced at her sister, Ciri.
The latter noticed her elder sister's glance and realized instantly that Hyrlan was thinking of her feelings. Ciri immediately shook her head to indicate that there was nothing between her and Joshua.
"My relationship with Ms. Lloyd is strictly business. On the other hand, Sansa, if I may keep you apprised, Weissenasche Theater premiered a new show yesterday. Do try it out if you're interested."
Before the official promotion began, Joshua could only rely on word of mouth. Hyrlan's friend, Sansa seemed fit for the task.
Based on his observations, Sansa looked like the type who would show off when given the chance. If something like Weibo or WeChat existed in this world, Sansa would probably even publish photos of her lunch.
It would be a waste if Joshua did not take advantage of the opportunity.
"A new show? What is it called and which company is it by?" Her interest was piqued.
"It's called ‘Beauty and the Demon'. As for the production company, I prefer not to reveal it yet."
In a world without movies, Joshua found it difficult to explain the concept of a movie to the people. Hence, he thought it best to just invite them for a screening.
"I'm definitely going, how about you?"
It was Hyrlan's last chance to watch the movie before she would have to queue for it and potentially miss out.
"Ricard's ticket is for a night show, so I guess it's fine."
Sansa did not mind Joshua's secretiveness. Besides, she had a few hours to kill before Blackswan Theater's show.
Shows were usually scheduled once every few days, so theaters would alternate between a few different shows over the week. However, the people of Norland were currently obsessed with Blackswan Theater. All other shows paled before the Flower of Farucci's brilliance.
"This way, please."
It was Joshua's turn to become the guide as he led the group to Weissenasche Theater.
About twenty minutes later, Joshua reached the entrance of the theater building.
The entrance was a little deserted, but there were some glowing runes inside, past the door. A few mages in long brown robes were using golem puppetry to construct the backdrop for the promotional poster.
Joshua entered the theater and saw Sir Weissenasche surrounded by a small crowd of ladies in extravagant ball gowns.
"Sir Weissenasche! Why did the demon die in the end?!"
"Poor girl, Belle…"
"Where are those idiotic villagers from?"
"Madams, please calm down. Calm down… it is only a movie. The story is not real."
Sir Weissenasche wiped his forehead with a handkerchief and patiently explained to the aristocratic ladies. As loyal fans of the Weissenasche Theater, they were personally invited by Sir Weissenasche to attend the premiere of "Beauty and the Demon". When the movie was over, the ladies started to cry and lambaste the unjust treatment toward the demon.
"A demon? Why would they be upset because of the death of a demon?"
Sansa overheard the commotion. When she first heard the title of the movie, her first guess was that it had the typical rescue-princess-from-demon storyline.
"Well… You'll know once you watch it." Hyrlan was not going to spoil it for her friend.
"Don't worry, I'll never pity a demon even after I watch the show because I believe in the god of justice and holy light, Monicar. Have you forgotten that I was born in the Holy Theocracy of Messai?"
Sansa's hand glowed faintly with gold runes to emphasize her point.
Joshua never expected the girl to be a paladin! The glowing light from her hands was something like holy light with a cleansing effect. The mark left by the Duke of Bones responded to the light, but only very slightly. The tiny glow was hardly a threat against the power wielded by the Duke of Bones.
"Messai's paladin army was at the frontline when the demons invaded. As a citizen of my country, I am a firm believer. There is no way I will take pity on a demon," Sansa said disapprovingly.