Chapter 49: Black Swan
That was Professor Salinya's first thought when he watched the movie. He was already close to being a middle-aged person, and while "Beauty and the Demon" may have touched the heartstrings of many youngsters as well as moved them to tears, what caught his attention was the heroine, Belle.
The heroines in stage plays were mostly very unreal, and no matter how good their acting skills were, the audience would know that she was simply performing her role on that limited stage.
However, Belle in the movie was different. It was as if she was living in it! A kind, curious, and bold girl who was living in a small village…
Professor Salinya found that he could no longer distinguish between reality and fiction, preferring to believe that Belle was a real person who was living somewhere in this world.
However, when Professor Salinya snapped out of it, he realized that he was inside the Weissenasche Theater… and the movie he just watched was simply a performance. That meant Belle's actress could be someone whom Sir Weissenasche might know!
He became a little unsettled as he thought about that since the show, called a "movie", was a form of performance far beyond stage plays. Whether it was in terms of its entertainment value or its aesthetical value, it far, far surpassed stage plays…
If this went on… No… No… He still had the Blackswan Theater Company. The troupe's reputation alone and the charm of the Black Swans would ensure that Norland National Theater would continue to thrive. While movies may be overwhelmingly better than stage plays, the biggest drawback was that no one could see the actors themselves in the performance.
Many of those who bought tickets at Norland National Theater did not buy them for the performance but bought them to watch Gallolie… Yet, when Belle in the movie got into the gorgeous dress and danced with the demon, Professor Salinya was surprised to find that Belle's charm was no lesser than any of the Black Swans'.
The movie continued to play until the end, and following the melodious music, the list of the cast was gradually presented to the audience. Professor Salinya saw the name of the actress playing Belle… Ynor.
It was a name that he had never heard of before. He had been in the theater business for so many years, and the number of actors he knew or heard of was considerable. Could it be that Sir Weissenasche had found another talented actress?
Professor Salinya was no longer able to continue sitting there. He memorized the name as he stood up but found that Gallolie, who was next to him, had no intention of leaving her seat.
"You can leave first. You don't have to wait for me. That's an order," Gallolie said.
Professor Salinya's trip this time around was not to ensure the safety of the duke's daughter. He knew that his ability was far beyond what was needed to be her bodyguard, and he was at best, just a tour guide.
So, Professor Salinya hurriedly left the performance hall, leaving Gallolie to sit alone quietly in her seat for a long while.
"Just cry if you want to," Gallolie suddenly said.
Soon, a sobbing sound rang out behind Gallolie as a blurry shadow appeared behind her.
"Mistress, why did that demon die in the end…"
It sounded like the sobbing was coming from a little girl, but the absence of a form made it sound a little fuzzy.
"That's the most common technique used by any scriptwriter. They present the most romantic scene to you before they brutally rip it apart; that's the simplest way to make the audience cry. The more beautiful the thing is, the more heartwrenching it is when it's destroyed," Gallolie said with a soft whisper.
She underwent dance training from a very young age and had been performing on stage ever since. With so many years of stage play experience under her belt, she had long seen through the techniques used by the playwrights in their scripts. She had since gone from shedding some tears while reading the script to driving her audience to tears with her performance without feeling any sorrow herself.
She thought that she would no longer feel any emotions from a performance in her life, yet she did not expect the movie to give her the same feeling she felt when she performed her first stage play.
Gallolie wiped the tears off the corner of her eyes.
Aside from feeling emotional, the movie had piqued her interest.
She had never heard of a performance that was presented like the movie. The scope of the performance was not limited to a small stage, and all of the characters were not wearing a specific costume but uttering specific lines.
This form of performance had turned the actors into the characters in the story!
How… was this thing made? What method was used?! And how did the switching of the images happened… A boatload of questions floated in Gallolie's mind, and all of the questions culminated into a single one, who made this movie?
Was it Ms. Ynor who played Belle? No… Was it Zenarth who played the demon? No, there had to be someone else behind the movie.
Gallolie sat in her seat quietly as a new name finally appeared after a dense list of casts, and the rest of the crew all had the same name.
A series of identical names took up the entire screen of credits.
"Gotcha…" Gallolie said.
"Mistress, I strongly disagree that you make contact with this man."
The fuzzy shadow behind Gallolie stopped sobbing and instead spoke to her in a very serious tone.
"Why?" Gallolie asked.
"That's… That's because the demon prince seems to be a Sin Demon, a monster that only my master can overcome."
"Why do you always assume that demons must be hostile to us?"
Gallolie suddenly popped a question that would have been blasphemous in Messai, the Nation of the Holy Church, but she was not a citizen of Messai. Instead, she was a citizen of Farucci, the Nation of Arts, and she would not simply follow the dogmas of other countries.
"It's because of those so-called missionary teachings. The demons do indeed have a centuries-long history of war with the Nation of the Holy Church and the Land of Frost, but even our country was at war with Messai a few hundred years ago. In the end, we reconciled and became allies."
Sensing the silence from her attendant behind her, Gallolie sighed.
"Simply put, if you replace the villagers in the movie with the Ecclesiastical Templars of Messai, not only would they kill the demon, they would also hang Belle for being a witch and consorting with the demon. If you had the opportunity to help them escape, would you help them or not?"
That was probably the biggest regret everyone who watched the movie had. They all had the urge to rush over and warn the demon prince that the foolish villagers were coming so he could quickly make his escape. She was no exception.
"I don't know how to answer that." Gallolie caught a sense of hesitation in her voice.
In the past, if she faced a demon, Gallolie's attendant would have struck without any hesitation. Even if this was just a verbal example, she should have given a very firm answer, yet she did not.
Perhaps, that was the movie's real purpose.
"Let's go back. If you still haven't had enough, I can come over here again tomorrow, but the tickets won't be as easy to come by like today."
Gallolie sorted out her heavy dress as she stood up, and just as she began to walk up the stairs, she suddenly stopped.
"Also, one last question, which do you find more interesting, my performance or this movie?"
"Please be honest," Gallolie said with a smile on her face.
"This movie… Mistress… I… I've immediately felt sleepy during your stage performances for about… a year… honestly…"
The voice behind Gallolie got softer and softer before it faltered altogether.
Nevertheless, the smile on Gallolie's face did not change. Be that as it may, her hold on the armrest of the seat revealed the disquiet within her heart.