Tada!! The official start to the translation of Really, Really Miss You.
This is a really new novel, completed on the internet less than one year ago. It isn’t even due to come off the printing press until the end of this year. Therefore, it is very up to date on the current online culture of China. You may be introduced to a whole bunch of things, such as types of popular Chinese social media sites or Chinese internet slang, you have never heard of before. I will try to walk a fine line between trying to offer equivalent English slang or just introducing the terms to you, explaining what they mean, and then using them in the translation. Feel free to ask questions.
Peanuts is my artistic consultant. I’m terrible at making things look pretty, so she has offered to help my find nice pics. Thanks peanuts! What am I going to do when you’re away on vacation? >_<
And now, enjoy!
Prologue – Peppered Pork Stomach and Chicken Soup
“I’m telling you, I’m on the bus right now.” Gu Sheng’s headset was on, and she was chatting with her roommate in her YY chatroom. “Wait until I get back to the dorm to talk some more, okay?”
It was six o’clock in the morning. This was the first bus of the day. The sky was still dark.
A certain little moderator of a certain website was chasing after her, intent on getting this little unknown singer to sing a birthday song for the website’s anniversary celebration.
She was too lazy to type, so she pulled her into her own YY chat room instead.
Her roommate had a rather impatient temperament and had to finish what she wanted to say before she would stop talking. Gu Sheng listened indifferently as she leaned back in the last row of seats and stared out at the empty bus.
The two had finished talking about official business, so they started chatting about personal things. When it came to “personal things,” the topics that two single, bored girls talked about ranged from gossip to Taobao and eventually landed on food.
“I went to eat hot pot yesterday. It was super delicious.” Gu Sheng suddenly remembered yesterday evening’s lavishly huge meal.
“What type of hot pot?” Geng Xiaoxing asked her. “Hai Di Lao? Liu Yi Shou? Little Fat Sheep?”
“Pork stomach and chicken soup base.” Gu Sheng’s eyes squinted as she reminisced over the taste. “More precisely, it should be peppered pork stomach and chicken. It was a pot of ‘red and white soup.’ The white side was just that basic soup base. The red side was Taiwanese style pork blood with aged tofu added into the soup. Do you know how awesome pork blood and tofu taste when they’ve been cooked in a spicy red soup?”
Gu Sheng loved to eat. When she talked about good food, her voice would become extremely warm and tender, much more tender than when she was singing a cover for those ancient-style songs.
There were only two or three people on the bus, none of whom had eaten breakfast, and all their stomachs were rumbling in hunger.
Suddenly hearing a girl speaking gently and in detail about piping hot pots of soup was truly a form of torture, especially since this girl’s voice was slightly nonchalant and a little husky, making it even more tantalizing.
“Sheng Sheng, are you taking revenge on society, in general? Or are you just taking revenge on me?” Still lying in bed with feelings now of intense hunger, Geng Xiaoxing’s voice quivered.
“This is the first time I realized that pig stomach and chicken stewed together could be so tasty. Boiled until it makes a milky-white soup base and the soup has the aroma of herbs and pepper… Fellow classmate Geng, I must take you there to try one time.”
It was seriously amusing to see Geng Xiaoxing’s face when she was forced to throw up her white flag.
As Gu Sheng nibbled on her rice ball, one bite after another and imagined her friend lying in bed, wrestling with herself on whether or not to get up and rush to the cafeteria to be the first person in line for breakfast, she felt this world was truly so wonderful.
The resentment she had felt just a moment ago from being forcefully dragged into the YY room to discuss singing for some anniversary celebration had suddenly vanished like smoke into air, you know?
“Gu Sheng, I hate you…” Geng Xiaoxing’s voice already had the hint of sobs in it.
She laughed in reply. Biting into her rice ball again, she answered in a voice muffled by food, “It honestly tastes really good.”
Geng Xiaoxing was silent.
She thought, it was about enough now and she could let it go at that so that when she got back to school, she would not be hunted down to be killed. Right as she was about to say that she was going to exit YY now, a very clear voice with a hint of laughter in it unexpectedly started speaking. “That is actually a well-known Hakka dish from Guangdong. If you have time, it’s actually quite convenient to make at home.”
It was a man’s voice.
Moreover, it was absolutely a male voice that, the instant it was heard, any girl would be done for.
But most importantly, Gu Sheng recognized that voice…
Qiang Qing Ci.
The leading artist of the Wanmei [Perfect] Voice Acting Group, Qiang Qing Ci.
Gu Sheng was completely dumbstruck.
She stared unbelievingly at the list of online users in the room.
There was only “Sheng Sheng Man,” “Geng Xiaoxing,” and “Qiang Qing Ci.”
If she was not mistaken, it was Qiang Qing Ci. It really was Qiang Qing Ci.
The most gorgeous voice in the commercial field of voice acting, famous for many years now but yet people still could not guess the age of the person behind it. His fan’s most enthusiastic discussions were regarding each year, how many online video game promotional videos or leading roles in ancient television dramas would specify that they wanted him to do the dubbing and how many advertisements for commercial brands had already set that he was to be the appointed voice talent.
Seeing that this was Gu Sheng’s personal channel in YY, she really could not hazard a guess at why this sama, whose presence would surely cause all ‘voice lovers’ to go wild with fervor, would enter this chat room in the early morning when the sky had just lit with light. Furthermore, it was obvious he had been listening in for a while already; otherwise, how would he know she had been talking about pork stomach and chicken hot pot?
But by unlucky coincidence, the bus entered a tunnel and her internet reception was so poor she was not able to get her voice function to work.
She could not even greet him.
The most infuriating part was, Geng Xiaoxing was not saying anything either, making him seem as if he was just talking to himself.
“It is actually not that hard to make, but it will require some time. Plus, cleaning the pork stomach can be a bit bothersome.” Qiang Qing Ci sounded as if he had just awoken. What does it mean when you say a voice possesses screen presence, like the feel of a drama? This was it.
Gu Sheng could sense that he had accidentally heard all this, conveniently joined the conversation, and just started talking.
And he did not care whether there was anyone listening on this channel.
“Try to have as many of the ingredients readily available as possible. They have great health benefits anyway. I remember it has red dates, poor man’s ginseng, scented Solomon’s seal, goji berry, star anise, bay leaves, and Chinese cinnamon. The rest are just common household spices, salt, and chicken bouillon. Of course, you can’t forget cooking wine and ginger.”
Qing Qing Ci said a few more things along the lines that the chicken should be placed in the pork stomach, sealed up using toothpicks, and then put to simmer slowly over low heat…
Because of the poor reception, his voice was cutting in and out. She listened intently.
Gu Sheng had listened to his earlier works from a few years ago, and like herself, he had a preference for ancient style work.
His ancient style vocalization was extremely charming, but right now, he was clearly using his natural voice.
It was early morning, several degrees below zero, and because of the temperature difference between the bus interior and outdoors, the glass windows had fogged up with a thin layer of condensation. But as she listened to him unhurriedly describing the recipe like this, it was almost as if she was sitting around the fire on a warm night. She unexpectedly had a feeling of peace and security, where there was no need for her to think about anything at all.
This was the amazing allure of voice. Only a voice lover could truly appreciate it.
As the bus drove out of the tunnel, the name “Qiang Qing Ci” suddenly disappeared.
It was likely because there had been no sort of interaction for such a long time so he exited the room.
However, the person who had inexplicably exited the room earlier, Geng Xiaoxing all of a sudden called her on her phone. “Just now, one of the aunties came to inspect the cleanliness of the dorm. I forgot to tell you. Continue what you were saying. That pork stomach and chicken broth or something.”
Gu Sheng was still in a bit of disbelief that the voice in YY a moment ago had been real. “So, all this time, you didn’t hear Qiang Qing Ci speak at all?”
“Qiang Qing Ci? What’s that?”
Gu Sheng could not help silently scorning her. “Celebrity in professional voice acting, Qiang Qing Ci. Wanmei Group’s leading voice artist.”
“Pronunciation sounds really weird,” Geng Xiaoxing said. “You dubbers and cover singers all have such weird and wacky names. You can’t even remember them…… But speaking of that Wanmei Voice Acting Group, I think our webmaster invited them for our site. He said for our website’s celebration, we’re going to open a YY channel too, and to celebrate, he deliberately invited that dubbing group…… Send me his name, and I’ll check to see if he’ll be there.”
“He probably won’t be there… He mainly does voice work for commercial projects now. It’s rare that he does work just for fun.”
This sama was the archetype of an artiste who had gone into seclusion for a long time… Just now… Just now most certainly was some sort of freak incident.
“Didn’t you say this sama is their leading artist?” Gu Xiaoxing sniggered. “I don’t believe we can’t get him to come.”
Gu Sheng completely did not think they would be able to successfully invite him, but still holding hope for some luck, she sent his name over: Qiang Qing Ci. The first word is pronounced as “qiāng.” It’s the name of a type of color. Remember, so you don’t embarrass yourself.
 A Chinese website for online shopping.
 These are all names of restaurant chains in China that specialize in hot pot. In order, they are 海底捞，留一手, 小肥羊.
 Hakka people have origins in southeastern China. Their cuisine places emphasis on texture and is known to be outwardly simple but delicious.
 Sama is a word of Japanese origin. It is a very respectful form of address to refer to people of significantly higher rank than oneself. It is often translated into Chinese as 大人or ‘DaRen,’ which we shall see later in the story is what the highly respected artists in the online entertainment circle are addressed as. Hence, they are also referred to as sama.
 Orig. 声控 ‘sheng kong’. Literally means ‘sound controlled.’ In Chinese slang, to say you are ‘XX 控’ or ‘XX controlled’ means that you really like XX. To be a ‘sheng kong’ means that you love gorgeous voices. I’m going to translate ‘sheng kong’ as ‘voice lover.’
 Orig. 玩票 ‘wan piao.’ In this context, when a professional artist does something ‘wan piao,’ he/she is doing it without concern for wage or remuneration but for other purposes, such as fans’ entertainment.
 Orig. 锖. The color of a mineral.
YY caused me a lot of confusion when I was first reading this novel. It’s probably because we really don’t have anything equivalent to it in our English-speaking world. Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned about it:
YY.com is a voice and video service offered to users. Each user can have their own personal channel, which is known by a string of numbers, and can be used for small group chats in a virtual room, like Gu Sheng in this prologue. However, YY is designed for large-scale, real-time communication that, as far as I know, does not have an equivalent in the English-speaking world. A single virtual room can host tens of thousands of users at once, all listening and communicating in real-time — like a virtual stadium. YY is used from things like communication during gaming to online concerts to virtual classrooms. The music business is a large part of YY, and this is what we will see it mostly used for in the novel. Fans can buy virtual gifts and give them to their favourite artist during a performance. Performers also receive virtual roses from their fans, and these roses can be traded in for cold, hard cash.
Edit: Hanny noticed that there is now a global.yy.com site. It looks like YY is branching out of China and going international. This site only launched late in 2013, so time will tell if it’ll catch on. I haven’t had a chance to browse through this English version of YY but go ahead and look around. It might give you a better idea of what our characters will be doing in the novel.