After a month off to fangirl Boss and Me with most of you, I’m back to fangirling Toupai. 😀
Sheng Sheng’s association with Toupai is bringing more and more attention upon her. Think it’s a good or a bad thing? And Toupai makes no effort to hide his favouritism toward Sheng Sheng.
Chapter 6 – Sauteed Black Pepper “Little” Ribs (1)
Gu Sheng pulled off her headphones in despair. Soon, she was trembling with excitement as she started to carefully select songs, in case she would need them later. She chose, for example, songs that were not meaningless, had a limit to how embarrassing they were, or had a beautiful melody and lyrics… to try to rescue her image.
Next time, she needed to be more aggressive, to confidently and in a justified tone, tell Toupai Da’Ren, “Da’Ren, I am going to sing this song for you…”
After she had seven or eight BGMs (background music) prepared, she finally calmed down somewhat.
“Gu Sheng, what stage have you and Toupai progressed to?” Geng Xiaoxing’s tone was also calm as she asked.
“Huh?” The way Gu Sheng looked at her was like she was staring at a ghost.
“You guys locked yourselves together in a little room and had a private rendezvous. Aren’t you afraid his fans will take headshots at you?” Geng Xiaoxing shook her head and sighed lightly, “A tall tree attracts the wind [criticism always follows the famous]. Low-profile. You guys totally need to keep a low-profile.”
She suspected that Geng Xiaoxing must have held those comments in for a long time. After finally getting the chance to say what she wanted to say, in an extremely delighting-in-someone-else’s-troubles manner, she kicked the wastebasket back to its original location, picked up her wallet, and headed out for dinner.
Gu Sheng thought for a minute, then glanced over her Weibo page again.
It pained her to do so, but she deleted the status, “Taking song requests” from her personal profile… After all, she was being followed by Toupai Da’Ren, and she should at least leave him some face, mm-hmm. But, she honestly was just an unknown. And she honestly liked to sing. And there was honestly no one requesting her to sing. And she honestly wanted to “take song requests.”
In silence, she closed the webpage. Because she was being suspected of “hugging a thigh”, she pondered whether or not she should be more careful when requesting collaborations.
For Toupai’s reputation, mm-hmm, Sheng Sheng Man, you had better exercise some restraint.
However, after this little episode, she and Qiang Qing Ci did not have much interaction.
Each year, the winter holidays were always accompanied by the Spring Festival holidays.
Many of the people who had a part in the anniversary celebration did not have much time to be online after they had gone home for the holidays, or else their internet connection was too slow. As a result, they arranged to have one last internal meeting on February 1st at a specified time to finalize the program for the anniversary celebration.
Then, they would need to divide up the work amongst themselves and begin preparations.
Because it was nearing the Spring Festival, Gu Sheng’s family grocery store would close especially early. Practically, once the sky grew dark, they would close up.
On little Lunar New Year, she deliberately went to help out with closing and by chance, happened to see an argument taking place across the road. Standing behind the glass door, she threw a few looks in that direction. Since the store was near the hospital, every now and then, disputes between doctors and patients could be seen, so she was accustomed to it. However, this time, she saw a familiar face. It was the young man who had bought the fruit chunk yogurt that night.
The reason why she noticed him was because he and the three others with him had clearly become the target of attack. At the moment when Gu Sheng recognized him, someone had grabbed the clothes of the woman on his right. He reached over to block away the offender … And while he was blocking, a punch landed on his face.
“Ah!” A cry escaped from Gu Sheng’s lips.
Right after, she heard a loud racket. Turning around, she saw several drinks had fallen and landed outside of the cooler.
“My god! … Freak me out, will you?” Cousin bent over and began to pick the things up, all the while complaining, “I hate it when girls scream for no reason. It’s ridiculously painful on the ears. You think you’re one of those spirits on a haunted night?”
“I didn’t mean to…” Gu Sheng walked over to help him clean up, stuffing everything back into the cooler. When she looked back againto check on the situation in front of the hospital doors, the fight had already ended. The people who had caused the disturbance were still there, but the man and his companions had left already.
Gu Sheng reckoned, that man was probably one of the graduate students working at the hospital? Or something else?
Anyway, he was so young, he couldn’t be a doctor, right?
But he was rather gallant and heroic, the way he knew that he should protect the girl…
After silently praising him for a bit, she decided that the next time the young man came, she would definitely give him… a 12% discount. Mm-hmm.
February 1st was the third day of the new lunar year.
By the time the arranged time of 9:00 p.m. arrived, she had already gathered up her snacks into the living room. Duck tongue and tripe were the main foods with spicy peanuts and iced black tea on the side. Fully prepared, she went online and entered Wanmei’s chat room.
She had just stepped into the living room when her mom also came in and asked about visiting relatives the following day, so she was delayed for some time. By the time she had finished talking and turned back around, she was surprised to find the comments spamming the screen had to do with her.
More accurately, everyone was gossiping like crazy.
“It’s Sheng Sheng Man @@ ~if there’s Sheng Sheng Man, then there will definitely be Toupai Dada!!” “What?!!! Where? Where is she?” “That one that one!…… why is sheng sheng man the orange horse?!!!! aaaaah! someone come stab my eyes blind! hurry n stab my eyes blind!” “Calm down… Toupai and her… mm, you guys get it?…” “*flip the tables* Sheng Sheng Man, I won’t let this lie!” ……
Gu Sheng was utterly flabbergasted.
She really wanted to say… Toupai was indeed going to be there, but he was there for actual business and had nothing to do with her, ah ah ah ah…
She debated for three seconds but, in the end, still gloomily entered the password-protected room.
The people in there had absolutely no idea that outside, there was so much ruckus it was about to overturn the heavens, and they were merely carrying out idle conversation. As usual, group leader, Jue Mei and Feng Ya Song were heading up the banter and the others would throw in the occasional comment.
Qiang Qing Ci did not say anything, but he was in the room.
Gu Sheng’s first reaction was, his computer was fixed now?
But she hastily realized her attention was much too focused on him, and she needed to be distracted.
“Let’s release something, like a pre-event warm-up,” Feng Ya Song suggested in a lazy tone. “Consider it a little perk for the fans. At the time of the actual anniversary celebration, we will then release the official storyline song.”
“Good idea,” Jue Mei Sha Yi agreed.
The assistant group leader, Dou Dou Dou Bing gave a laugh. “You’re the group leader, and I’m the assistant group leader, but what we say still doesn’t count. Three years have passed, and the highlight of the show is our Qiang Qing Ci Dada.”
In the headset, Geng Xiaoxing’s giggles could clearly be heard.
Soft and sweet… soft and sweet…
Gu Sheng felt, mm-hmm, it must be because of Jue Mei Sha Yi…… Although she still did not have hard evidence, if a girl who normally had the heart of a tomboy suddenly had a complete change in personality, there was no doubt then that something fishy was going on…
While she was still speculating, Qiang Qing Ci unexpectedly spoke, and he was saying her name. “Sheng Sheng?”
For some reason, it was just the “Man” on the end of her name that got left out…… But it seemed to give the wrong impression of being a little… um, like he was suspiciously intimate with her.
“Dada, I’m here,” she answered immediately.
“You like ancient style, I remember.”
He seemed to ponder briefly before asking, “So, what’s your favourite song?”
“Hang Yourself on the Southeast Branch” instantly popped into her head… No way? Dada? You wouldn’t do that to me, would you? To take that and make it the pre-event release? She was lamenting inside, and her thoughts were in utter disorder. She thought carefully before replying, “I prefer ‘Jian Xiao Jiang Hu’ [Sword Cry in the Land of the Rivers and Lakes].”
“ ‘Sword Cry?’ ”
His voice did not seem to be in its best condition today.
But, with the huskiness, it was actually rather sexy…
“Don’t tell me you don’t know it, eh?” Feng Ya Song prodded him with an indolent chuckle.
Qiang Qing Ci gave an “mm” and said, “I know it.”
“But this song has lots of covers already, and you would have to find many people… I think you would need six people to sing, plus one to deliver spoken lines? With anything that Wanmei produces, if there isn’t a superb line-up of people, we would be embarrassed to release it…”
“Indeed. To all of a sudden need to find so many people…” Jue Mei Sha Yi was hesitant as well.
Qiang Qing Ci did not seem to pay heed to their opinions.
Instead, he asked her, “Sheng Sheng? In your opinion, who do you think would be suitable?”
“Me?” Gu Sheng contemplated for a moment and assembled the cast list she loved the most. “Fei Shao [Young Master Fei], Ling Long Ti Tou [Exquisite; Clever], Mo Mo’er [Ink Ink],…” She listed off six of her favourite singers whom she thought would be suitable for this song, and at the very end, she said with certainty, “The monologue would have to be spoken by Qiang Qing Ci Dada.”
“Me?” Qiang Qing Ci gave a slight chuckle. “That won’t be difficult…”
“Yeah, you’re the only one that’s not difficult to get…” Gu Sheng sighed wistfully. All of a sudden, she felt she was completely out of line.
Hello?! Getting Qiang Qing Ci to deliver the lines was not difficult??!!
Good thing they were just in a private little room, k? If she had gone outside and said that, she would have been instantly flogged to death, k?…
“The ones you mentioned…” Qiang Qing Ci was contemplating.
Those people had all entered the online entertainment circle years ago, and most of them only held concerts now and did not accept new requests…
Some of them did not even bother to hold concerts and seemed to have disappeared altogether from the world, k?
He suddenly asked, “Dou Dou Dou Bing, what do you think?”
Dou Dou Dou Bing was surprisingly quiet for three seconds before she finally heaved a long, long sigh. With an extremely resentful tone, she told him frankly, “Toupai, I hate you…… Argh! Fine. Friend Sheng Sheng, thank you for your love and affirmation I am actually Mo Mo’er.”
Gu Sheng was stunned.
She never would have thought, honestly never would have thought…
Never would have thought… that this respected senior was actually hiding out in Wanmei…
Dou Dou Dou Bing repeated again, “Qiang Qing Ci, I hate you,” before grudgingly continuing. “The people you mentioned, I can arrange to get two of them. As for the remaining three, we will have to see whether they will give face to Qiang Qing Ci. However…” She coughed lightly a couple of times.
Feng Ya Song jumped in right away and carried on for her, “However, one of them, Ling Long Ti Tou, is Qiang Qing Ci’s diehard fan. Diehard fan, you get it, right? Um, Sheng Sheng, you should think it through first. Are you really going to hand Qiang Qing Ci over to someone else?”
While this type of joking around in a YY room was really just casual banter…
But to be teased together with Qiang Qing Ci… She really…
She really was just incapable of responding nonchalantly or jesting and jeering with them..
“We don’t need three.” Qiang Qing Ci indifferently expressed his disagreement. “Let Sheng Sheng sing one of the parts.”
Without even waiting for Gu Sheng’s response, Dou Dou Dou Bing and Feng Ya Song had already let out an astonished cry.
Feng Ya Song was gleeful. “Sheng Sheng, you’re going to be totally famous~”
Gu Sheng did not care whether she was going to be famous or not. All her attention was entirely, entirely, entirely, entirely on this cast list she loved the most. The best voices, the best speaker to deliver the monologue.
And then there was one more person… and it was her.
What was she feeling?
Totally like a singer who had just entered the preliminary rounds of a talent show and was being suddenly informed that she was about to collaborate on a song with Jacky Cheung, Jay Chou, Terry Lin Chih Hsuan…… etc, etc, and on top of that, Daniel Wu was going to deliver the speaking lines, k??!!
Gu Sheng kept bringing her drinking glass up to allow the icy cold to touch her face.
Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, crazy, going crazy, seriously going crazy…
 树大招风 “shu da zhao feng.” This idiom draws the analogy: like a tree that has grown tall and will naturally have wind that will rustle it, those who have fame or fortune will naturally attract criticism and attack.
 春节 “Chun Jie.” The Spring Festival is the modern name used in China to refer to the Lunar New Year festival, which is a celebration that runs Lunar New Year’s Eve runs (and sometimes even earlier to the 15th day of the first lunar month.
 小年夜 “xiao nian ye.’” This could have various meanings, depending on where in China one is. It could refer to the 23rd or 24th day of the twelfth lunar month or it could be the day before Lunar New Year’s Eve.
 YY culture and terminology in China. YY has multiple classification levels that determines how much control a user has within a specific channel. Each level is assigned a different colour. However, the online slang term in Chinese for “ID” or “pseudonym” is 马甲, where the first character 马 is also the character for “horse.” Hence, as a short form, the levels are also referred to as “YY horses.” I will only list the first several levels, which are the ones that are mentioned in the story.
- Black: Official staff in YY.
- Purple: The owner and also founder of the channel. Has the highest authority in a particular channel, although that authority can be designated.
- Orange: Head channel manager. Second only to the purple horse and has basically the same administrative rights.
- Yellow: Channel administrator.
It seems these “horse” levels are also used more casually to describe how important a person is. So, in this context, Gu Sheng being referred to as the “orange horse” is saying that people think she has “administrative rights” to Qiang Qing Ci.
Updated February 2016:
This translation has been based on the very first online edition. That is the version that contains all the real-life songs that I have been linking to in Youtube. As some of you may be aware, the author went back and revised this novel to, for copyright reasons, remove most of the real-life songs and replace them with her own lyrics/songs. The published version of this novel which came out in May 2015 generally follows the revised online edition, with some minor edits. Most of the complete versions you can find online are still the original edition. However, there was one continuity issue in the first edition. In that edition, the date for that internal meeting for the anniversary celebration was actually February 13th, so if you are following along with an online version and see this date, yes, you aren’t mistaken. However, later in the novel, some significant things happen on Valentine’s Day (i.e. February 14th), which is supposed to take place a couple weeks after this internal meeting. Hence, for continuity reasons, when the author revised her online edition, this date was changed to February 1st. So, though I am following the first edition in this translation, I still revised the date.