Peanuts has been lending a shoulder to me to cry on, but I’ll sob here to you guys, too. I had read earlier the author, Mo Bao Fei Bao, had been working on sorting out copyright issues with all the songs in the novel before the book went to the printing press. Well, I stopped in on the site, jjwxc.net, where the novel was officially released online and discovered that MBFB had gone and revised many chapters in the story. All the real songs have been removed and replaced with made-up songs and lyrics. 😦 I’ll admit, I didn’t check to see what/if any other changes were made, but I’m so sad… I loved that, in the original version, I could play the song while reading the corresponding scene. It made such a great reading experience and turned me into a lover of ancient-style music. *sob* Peanuts, where’s your shoulder again?
Anyways, I’m going to continue my translation using the original version of the story. MBFB had written this story originally to share her love of food and ancient-style music and taking away one of these elements seems to take away part of the charm as well as intent of the novel. I’ll still buy the book when it’s released since Toupai and Sheng Sheng themselves are worth hoarding on my shelf, but I’ll share the original story that stole my heart with you guys here. (And, I’ll take any hankies and shoulders you guys are willing to offer up for me to sob into. :p)
Chapter 10 – Poached “Pearls” with Conch (1)
Gu Sheng kept her agreed meeting with Qiang Qing Ci at the forefront of her mind.
The next day, she purposely pretended to be ill so she did not have to accompany her parents to visit relatives … However, her mobile phone and Weibo were extremely quiet the entire day. She pondered, what calendar did the “tomorrow” that Toupai was talking about follow? She was somewhat unable to focus. By the third day, she inconspicuously opened up her alternate YY ID and, as if under a spell, took a stroll through Toupai’s chat room.
Thousands of usernames were staying online in that room, and several hundred of them were actually active and entertaining themselves inside.
Toupai’s fan base was enormous, so even though it was not the weekend, there were still scheduled events. To keep up the popularity of the channel, currently popular CVs or online singers would be invited by moderators of the YY channel to be special guests. But, to be honest, Qiang Qing Ci’s channel did not need any help maintaining its popularity…
The artistes who were invited would instantly gain several hundred new fans. They were obviously the ones who were on the benefitting end, k?
In her headset, she heard a familiar-sounding voice. Gu Sheng glanced at the user handle: Zou Diao’er [Off-Key].
Gu Sheng knew this boy. That delicate, girly voice, didn’t it belong to her own music association?
When the boy discovered that she was online in YY and was in Toupai’s channel, he immediately sent her a YY private message: Sheng Sheng Man, I want to hug a thigh …… Hurry. Stick your thigh over here …
Gu Sheng: →_→
Zou Diao’er: →_→ while you’re still not Toupai’s official golden master, I’m gonna hurry and hug it tight.
Gu Sheng: →_→ …… Purely a misunderstanding.
Zou Diao’er: →_→ Usually, anyone in that romantically ambiguous phase always says it’s just a misunderstanding.
Gu Sheng: ……
She was just about to leave the chat room when she heard the channel host suddenly address Zou Diao’er, who had just finished his performance and was about to smoothly turn off his microphone. “Zou Diao’er Dada, I seem to recall that Sheng Sheng Man is in the same music association as you.”
Instantly, the screen was flooded with comments of “Sheng Sheng Man!!!!” Completely, ridiculously flooded.
Zou Diao’er gave an awkward laugh, coughed two times, and said “uh” a couple of times …
Gu Sheng felt a chill travel down her back and hurriedly private messaged him: Don’t you dare say anything about Toupai DaRen and me.
After sending the message, though, she felt she had done the wrong thing…
Why did it feel like she was conspicuously trying to declare, “Honest, there really isn’t 300 taels of silver hidden here”? Oh Lord, have pity and be her witness. She really did not have any silver hidden. Not even a measly coin …
Gu Sheng was still struggling within herself when she heard the boy cough another couple of times. “Uh, she’s one of the favourites in our association. She sings covers, arranges songs, does post-production, does artistic work …”
In silence, Gu Sheng wearily shut her eyes.
Kid, your shameless over-exaggeration is going to get exposed soon …
The host gave an “oh,” but then added, “Dada, don’t try to change the subject. Tell us … our Toupai and Sheng Sheng Man… Ahem, ahem… You know what I mean.” Zou Diao’er was quiet for two seconds.
Sheng Sheng Man immediately sent over another sentence to him: If you dare say a single word, I’ll hunt you down to the ends of the earth …
“About that …” Zou Diao’er’s voice had a hint of laughter in it. With another cough, he continued, “I can’t say anything. Sheng Sheng Man said I’m not allowed to say a single word regarding the two of them …”
The host gave another knowing “oh.”
Below, the fans’ hearts were breaking, and they were starting to wail.
“I didn’t hear anything……” “I didn’t hear anything……” “Well, I personally think, our Toupai DaRen is nearly twenty-six years old. He should have a golden master…… *biting my hankie* I can hear the sound of my own heart shattering to pieces…” “I didn’t hear anything……” “Toupai belongs to everyone! No one is allowed to take that beauty for herself! Over my dead body!” “Toupai DaRen’s name has been famous for more than ten years. So many beautiful, attractive golden masters have tried unsuccessfully to own him…… What makes that Sheng Sheng Man so special?…… Get lost! Go get lost! Not allowed!”
Gu Sheng thought……
Alright… Her brain was incapable of thinking already.
Her dignity, reputation, and the opinions floating around about her had basically followed after Toupai DaRen and been destroyed on that blood vessel-bursting night… If her reputation was ripped to shreds, fine, but Toupai DaRen’s reputation was of utmost importance …
She deliberated this and considered that, then deliberated this and considered that again.
Gu Sheng felt she should probably first report the situation to him herself.
She pulled out her mobile phone from underneath her pillow, opened up WeChat, and cleared her throat. “DaRen… I’d to talk to you about something.”
The voice recording was sent off with a whoosh.
Gripping her phone, she quietly waited. But as she waited and waited, she started feeling unsettled, with all sorts of speculations over what Toupai’s reaction would be after he received the message.
What if DaRen didn’t like being disturbed?
What if DaRen had already deleted her in WeChat?
What if DaRen found her annoying?
What if DaRen…
Gu Sheng had always prided herself on not letting anything faze her, except when faced with her most beloved idol, she honestly could not stay calm and collected. After waiting for a while, she decided she could not just let herself keep staring at her phone. But when she put her phone on the table, she still could not help pricking up her ears to listen…
And then suddenly, a WeChat message came back.
Gu Sheng opened it up. It was Toupai, it was Toupai!…… Thank goodness, thank goodness.
Only one second long?
In one second, you can say, what? Three words? Two words?
Puzzled, she tapped the message to open it and placed the phone next to her ear. She heard Qiang Qing Ci’s voice very groggily give an “mm”… It was really just a single “mm” and that was it. Have you ever heard anyone send a voice message with just this one word? Can this word really be spoken so clearly and pleasantly, yet at the same time, have such a dazed feel in it that causes your heart to flood with tenderness?
Her mind was suddenly assaulted with an image: slightly hidden behind the curtains of a canopy, a charming young man, his clothes half undone, was lying on his side on a couch bed …
Gu Sheng felt a little like she could not handle the thought anymore.
Affected by Toupai’s message, even her voice was lowered when she spoke. “DaRen, you were sleeping just now?”
After a short while, Qiang Qing Ci sent another message. Still only one second.
What would he say this time? She had absolutely no idea.
She moved the phone to her ear and heard Qiang Qing Ci say … another “mm.” This time, Toupai DaRen seemed slightly more alert, and his voice was warm and gentle.
Listening to him, Gu Sheng’s heart felt as if it was drifting.
As a true, experienced voice lover, she felt as if she was definitely, immediately … not going to be able to take it anymore.
“Um… DaRen, you’re awake now?”
Gu Sheng: “S, I … can talk to you about the thing I wanted to discuss?”
“Mm.” Qiang Qing Ci could not hold back a little chuckle.
Four successive mm-s.
Together, they created a set of living portraits of “beauty.”
The first was a young nobleman, not quite fully roused and still in a dreamlike state, his eyes glazed over and his voice husky.
The second was a young prince, his hand holding a broth to dispel the effects of alcohol, his eyes turned up in a slight smile, his voice warm and smooth.
The third, a striking general, his sleeves partially rolled back, his eyes alluring and sparkling, his voice doting.
The fourth was … the most provocative. A handsome, young king awakened in his chambers, his arms lightly embracing a maiden, his voice sensual …
As her mind finished filling in the last of these details, her brain completely stopped working and all her blood seemed to rush upwards.
“Ah, um … DaRen, I forgot what I wanted to say … You go ahead and keep sleeping …”
 金主 “jin zhu.” Literally means gold or golden master. (I’m choosing to use golden master purely because it sounds cuter.) This term most accurately is describing a financier, someone who has much money and can control money, but in slang, it is often referring to a “sugar daddy” or “sugar mama,” i.e. someone who has exclusive access to you. In this teasing context Zou Diao’er is calling Sheng Sheng the golden master of Toupai, saying she has exclusive access that no one else has to him, in other words, his girlfriend.
 此地无银三百两 “ci di wu yin san bai liang.” Literally meaning, “this land does not have 300 taels [an archaic Chinese monetary unit] of silver.” An idiom describing a guilty person who is pretending to be innocent. As he tries to cover up his secret by declaring there is nothing, he slips and gives himself away.
LOL. Sheng Sheng’s mind sure can fill in a lot of blanks from just hearing Toupai’s voice. Think the pic at the top is similar to one of the images she conjured up?
BTW, anyone notice Toupai’s age was mentioned? But it said earlier in the story that his age was a mystery. 😉