Whee! Sheng Sheng sings for Toupai. But, it’s not exactly the type of song she was hoping to sing. Haha! In this update, Toupai is not just the revered Qiang Qing Ci. We get a little glimpse of his humorous side.
I’m on vacation next week, so potentially no update. I will try my best to post next week but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me.
Chapter 5 – Spicy Black Bean Clams
Gu Sheng: …… Now?
Qiang Qing Ci: Now? Wait a sec.
Gu Sheng felt Toupai DaRen must have misunderstood. She clearly was trying to ask him whether or not he wanted to listen right now, so how did it suddenly turn into her requesting if she could sing for him right now?…… Those were two entirely different concepts, k?!
There was someone in her dorm right now, too, and that person was the most nosy of them all, Geng Xiaoxing, k?!
Toupai, please don’t do this…
Qiang Qing Ci very quickly sent back a chat room number.
Of course, she remembered this channel was his official channel number. Everyday, several hundred people would be online there. Even though it was often more than a month before he made an appearance, administrators would still play his recordings everyday and organize little events. It was completely a gathering place for hardcore fans, k?
Gu Sheng believed her sudden appearance there and the fact that she was going to sing for Qiang Qing Ci would definitely cause her to be crushed to death by all the gossip and rumours…
She sent off a resolute reply: DaRen, let’s go to my room instead. (*>﹏<*)′~
Qiang Qing Ci did not answer.
Don’t tell me he was gone already????
Gu Sheng wanted to cry. She turned around to glance at Geng Xiaoxing, who was completely engrossed in munching on her melon seeds… Turning back around silently, she logged into her YY account, and with resolve like a warrior heading to her death, she typed in Qiang Qing Ci’s room number. She had just entered the room when she saw countless comments spamming the screen. “Dada made a sudden appearance, ah!!!!” “What? What did you say?” “Dada is in a password-protected room, ah! Can’t get in! How to crack it?! How to crack it?!” “Chill… Dada must be waiting for someone…” “*flip the table* Who could make our DaRen wait?!…”
Just when she was about to flee from there, she was “carried” into a small room.
Inside the password-protected room, it was just she and Qiang Qing Ci.
She swiftly typed a smiley face: Qiang Qing Ci Dada.
Although there was a smiley face, she still had the feeling she was going to be killed this time. The people outside this little room could not come in, but they could see who was inside… She forced herself not to imagine the consequences and to just focus on repaying him.
“You can speak now.” Qiang Qing Ci’s tone was very casual. “There is only you and me here.”
Gu Sheng’s head was “covered with black lines.“ If she got on her microphone, Geng Xiaoxing would definitely jump up right away.
But, she came here to sing as repayment. She couldn’t just type the lyrics and not use her voice.
Gu Sheng turned around. “Hey, uh…”
“What?” Geng Xiaoxing answered without really thinking.
“I need to sing a song.”
“Sing then.” Geng Xiaoxing could not be bothered at all. “I’m used to it. Aren’t you a cover singer? You’re always taking advantage of any time there’s nobody else but us in the dorm to torture me.”
Gu Sheng wordlessly put on her headphones and then cleared her throat. “What would Dada like to listen to?”
“What’s your forte? Ancient style?”
“Mm-hmm. Ancient style.”
“ ‘Zi Gua Dong Nan Zhi’ [Hang Yourself on the Southeast Branch] then.”
“Hang Yourself on the Southeast Branch?……” Gu Sheng felt despair, and she secretly peeked over at Geng Xiaoxing.
“Mm-hmm. Rather fun, that song is.”
“Alright… Let me look for the background music.”
Gu Sheng quickly shut off her microphone and turned her head back to look at Geng Xiaoxing again. “Hey, uh…”
“What?” Geng Xiaoxing gave her a weird look.
“I’ll be singing a senseless song. Don’t mind me.”
“What song?” Geng Xiaoxing was actually interested now.
“Hang Yourself on the Southeast Branch.”
“Pfft… You’re singing that for your own fans?”
“No… For Qiang Qing Ci Dada.”
“My gawd… Since when did you and Toupai get so close?……” Geng Xiaoxing’s thoughts started wandering, and she began filling in details in her own mind.
Gu Sheng was worried about keeping Qiang Qing Ci waiting for too long, so she immediately downloaded the background music and lyrics from 5sing.
This wacky song that strung together lines from all sorts of poetry and songs was really bad for a person’s image. When she was ready, she felt as if her heart was starting to bleed and was scared that, once Toupai finished listening to her sing, he would be completely turned off by her. After all, from one perspective, Toupai was her favourite voice. How had things developed into this?
Did she really… have to “hang herself on the southeast branch?”
“Dada, I’m going to start now.” Gu Sheng felt a little dejected as she started the background music.
Geng Xiaoxing, like a nosy old lady, walked right up behind her and started listening in like a second audience member. She did not really understand YY, but she still knew that two people hanging out alone in a room was absolutely comparable to a private date.
When she started singing the lines of “Hang Yourself on the Southeast Branch,” she clearly heard Qiang Qing Ci laugh out loud… He actually laughed out loud… She really wanted to burst into tears, but very professionally, she continued singing.
When she reached the end, she hastily shut off the music.
“Not bad.” Qiang Qing Ci concisely summarized, his tone laidback.
This was… his doting voice style that absolutely mesmerized his fans.
Gu Sheng exhaled very lightly. Oh gawd, oh gawd, stay calm, stay calm. Today, she was here to repay him. She needed to have a calm state of mind. Absolutely calm. She absolutely could not let herself get starry-eyed…
“Do you like to eat clam?” Qiang Qing Ci suddenly changed the subject.
“Yes. Qiang Qing Ci Dada, you like it, too?” Gu Sheng was striving hard to maintain her own image as she kept her voice steady.
He gave a laugh.
Oh god… Gu Sheng put a hand on her chest.
The doting voice coupled with a laugh every now and then. Seriously, she was going to die on the spot… aah.
Who was going to come to save this voice lover?…
Feeling as if a hundred claws were scratching at her heart, she silently scorned herself. Geng Xiaoxing could not hear what was being said in her headset and could only see the pained expression on her face. Slightly worried, she patted her on the shoulder and asked, “Little girl, have you been poisoned?”
Gu Sheng waved her off.
Not poisoned. She was obviously bewitched.
Fortunately, the settings had been set so that one could not speak freely without pressing the talk key, so Qiang Qing Ci did not hear what Geng Xiaoxing said.
Geng Xiaoxing’s lips pursed together in a pout. Not hearing the entire conversation was not very fun, so she walked back and continued nibbling her melon seeds by the wastebasket.
In the headset, Qiang Qing Ci was speaking leisurely. “But, there is one method of making them that I really like.”
“For clams?” Gu Sheng asked without really thinking.
However, after the question slipped out, she snapped out of her daze. Duh. Of course for clams. Weren’t they talking about clams the whole time?
“Spicy black bean clams. Have you eaten it before?”
“Yes…” Gu Sheng thought for a moment before continuing, “But I don’t eat spicy things often. Cover singer, you know. Have to protect my voice.”
Qiang Qing Ci chuckled.
Gu Sheng closed her eyes wordlessly, pretending she did not hear that doting and entrancing laugh.
“I eat spicy things often,” he said offhandedly.
“Well…… Dada, you’re talented…. Wait, no. It should be, you were born with a naturally nice voice, and even if you don’t protect it, it will be fine.”
It was obvious that God was playing favorites, you know?
“The method to make it is not difficult. It’s just handling everything that can be a bit of a bother.”
“Soak the clams in lightly salted water for half an hour so they spit out any sand. Then, clean them and put into boiling water until they open.”
Out of habit, Gu Sheng continued listening to him and even began to wonder whether she should record him for the later benefit of all the Qiang Qing Ci fans out there.
But she should ask for Qiang Qing Ci’s consent first, right? She hesitated, not daring to ask.
“Prepare two sets of ingredients. The first set is soy sauce, white pepper, cooking wine, MSG, and ‘high’ soup, and combine them all in a bowl. This is the sauce. The other set is cornstarch and water mixed to form a thickening slurry.”
“What is high soup?”
“High soup? There are many kinds. The most common type in home cooking is, when making chicken stock, to reserve some and use it in place of water when stir-frying dishes.”
“After all the ingredients are ready, put a little oil in the pan. Add black beans and some minced garlic and sauté for a bit. Then add the white end of some scallions, sliced chili peppers, and chopped ginger and continue to sauté. After, pour in the clams and the sauce. Stir-fry over high heat. It has to be high heat, or else the clam meat will fall out.”
“When the sauce has reduced down to about half, add the cornstarch mix. Stir-fry again, then add the green end of the scallions. Then remove from the pan.”
On this end, all Geng Xiaoxing could hear was Gu Sheng’s unending string of “mm” but did not know what she was doing. So weird. She nosily snuck a peek at the screen but there was nothing. Sigh.
Qiang Qing Ci seemed to have finished speaking.
Wait. They had already gotten to “remove from the pan” already. Of course he was finished speaking.
Gu Sheng very, very politely said, “I’ll remember. Thank you, Qiang Qing Ci Dada.”
His voice came through in the headset again.
First, there was a very light “mm,” and then he told her, “I need to go now. When will be the next time you sing for me?”
“Next time?” Gu Sheng blurted out.
“There’s no next time?” Qiang Qing Ci seemed to be pondering something.
“Uh…” His question in reply made Gu Sheng feel a little uncertain. Singing only one song did not seem sincere enough as a repayment? “Well then, the next time Dada you have time, feel free to come find me.”
“Alright. See you later.”
Qiang Qing Ci seemed to chuckle again, and then he swiftly exited the little chat room.
 Slang. Often in cartoons, emoticons, etc, little lines are drawn over the head of the character to represent cold sweat that broke out from hearing or seeing something that caused awkward embarrassment and a complete loss over what to say or do in response. Hence, if you encounter this type of situation in real life, you can say that there are “black lines over your head.” In the absence of emoticons, sometimes you can see this represented by -_-||||
 Orig. 中蛊 ‘zhong gu.’ 蛊or ‘gu’ is said to be a poisonous parasite of some sort that is deliberately placed by human means into a person, who becomes the host body. The parasite is controlled by the one who placed it into the host, and hence, the host is at the mercy and control of that person, like he is under a “spell.”
Tehe! Did you listen to the entire song? I’ll confess that the first time I heard it, I shut it off almost right away. Not my cup of tea. But, do at least let yourself get to the rap part that starts around 1:22. LOL. Now you can see why Sheng Sheng would have “black lines over her head” when Toupai told her to sing this song. Melody (or lack thereof) aside, the lyrics of this song is actually quite amazing. It is composed entirely of random lines from several dozen ancient poems and strings them together so that it all makes sense, so much so that when this song came out, one of the worries was that it could mislead students into reciting poems incorrectly. The blue characters on the bottom of the Youtube video are the lyrics while the green characters on top state the poem from which the line was taken. Pretty amazing how many poems it references, huh? I’m not going to translate this song because (1) I’m not capable with all the ancient language used and (2) you would be sick of reading all the footnotes with the poem references. Plus, in the context of the story, the boppy melody and rap are the most important in realizing that Toupai was having a little fun with Sheng Sheng.🙂