After dropping that “bomb” at the end of the last chapter, what is Toupai going to do next?
Chapter 13 – Poached “Pearls” with Conch (4)
Gu Sheng’s cheeks instantly started burning. They were honestly burning up…
And, because of the frantic reposting of the Weibo tweet, her computer crashed…
All the voices disappeared.
Gu Sheng took two breaths to help herself recuperate before hurriedly rebooting her computer.
However, just as she pressed the button to do a hard restart, her dad and mom returned home. “Sheng Sheng, hurry and go take over for your cousin. He’s going to be late for his matchmaking date. After your dad and I finish dinner, we’ll go to the grocery store and relieve you so you can come back and eat.”
In that brief moment, Gu Sheng thought of countless excuses, even going so far to consider flopping down, rolling around, and declaring that she had a stomachache from hunger. Unfortunately, her mother immediately saw through her ploy. Without even glancing at her, she waved her hand and stated, “Don’t even think about pretending to be sick. Our family grocery store is right across from the hospital. If you really are sick, then it’ll be on the way.” Mom took off her coat and headed into the kitchen, not even giving her the slightest chance to resist.
She had no choice but to hastily throw on her coat, grab her mobile phone, and head out.
She, as the owner of the chat room, had suddenly vanished while the room was still occupied by numerous big-name CVs…
As she ran downstairs, she rushed back online onto YY using her mobile phone while, in passing, also silently mourning that her data usage this month was definitely going to exceed quota. However, to her surprise, when she entered her room, everyone was gone already.
It had only been a few minutes… But that made sense. Toupai was eating with Jue Mei and Wwwwk, and it was dinnertime now, so she reckoned that everyone else had also headed off to fill their stomachs.
She touched a hand to her cheek.
It was still burning hot.
Strictly speaking, she should be classified as someone who was collaborating with Toupai rather than just simply a fan, and she should be very rational in regards to the various sorts of jesting and teasing that was commonplace in this entertainment circle. What was the big deal? Honestly, nothing. Even in her own music association, all those shouts and declarations of coupledom and official pairing — whether they be boy-boy, boy-girl, girl-girl — were in the end, merely close friendships, k?
And anyway, Toupai had only said that he liked her voice, right? …
Gu Sheng tried her best to cool down while proceeding step by step down the stairs. In the end, after some contemplation, she decided that she should definitely express her appreciation to Toupai, considering he was throwing his support behind her like that. After all, having Toupai’s recommendation was better than her covering even a thousand songs.
Before unlocking her bicycle, she typed a WeChat message to Toupai: Thank you, Dada for your praise and great kindness.
Her key stabbed into the lock, turned, and opened it.
Toupai had already sent back a voice recording: “You’re welcome. I’m still eating dinner, and it’s not too convenient to type. Can we use voice messages?”
She sent back: “Sure. My computer crashed just now, and that’s why I left the chat room. Um… Now, something urgent has come up, so I have to leave the house. Sorry about that, Qiang Qing Ci Dada.”
“Alright.” His voice was nonchalant.
Gu Sheng then climbed onto her bicycle, but on the way, she heard an alert from her mobile phone again.
She pulled it out slightly to glance at the screen. Toupai?
Worried that he might need something, she immediately set her feet down on the edge of the pedestrian walk, came to a stop, and pulled out her phone.
Qiang Qing Ci had sent another voice message: “So… that means you owe me how many more songs again?”
… I guess so…
Well, since he liked to listen to her sing … there really was no reason for her to act reserved. She normally participated in many activities in YY anyway, and after singing and singing some more, she was used to it by now. And besides, Qiang Qing Ci was truly very … um, good to her.
She promised, “Okay. No problem. If Dada, you are not bored of listening to me, feel free to come find me any time.”
Qiang Qing Ci seemed to hear the background noise of the street. “You’re on the road?”
Gu Sheng: “Mm-hmm. Riding my bike.”
“Alright then. No more talking.” Qiang Qing Ci was eating leisurely, and his words were slightly unclear. “Remember to be safe.”
What a considerate Toupai DaRen…
Gu Sheng exhaled lightly. “Okay. Bye, DaRen.”
As she slipped her phone back into her pants pocket, she could not help sighing over Toupai’s voice, which, even when eating, sounded so seductively laidback…
She made herself settle down, but as she continued on her way on her bicycle, she suddenly remembered something very important…
Toupai was indeed still eating dinner… And he was eating it with Jue Mei and Wwwwk. So, those two had listened in on her entire conversation with Toupai, down to all the details, without any omissions.
They had not really said anything, but still… Her cheeks reddened.
Gu Sheng thought about the Weibo tweet that had been forwarded so many times that her computer crashed, and then she switched over to mull back on what she and Toupai had talked about, wondering if there had been anything inappropriate that should not have been heard by other people… Pondering back and forth like this all along the way, she finally managed to dawdle her way to the grocery store, where Cousin was already waiting impatiently for her.
When he saw her lock up her bicycle and enter the store, he immediately ran out from behind the counter and stared at her resentfully. “My dear little sister, if you were any later, I’d be yelled at by my bros.”
“I knew it! I knew for sure that you weren’t going on a matchmaking date.” Gu Sheng walked over to stand behind the counter. “Going to play ‘Sword 3’?”
Cousin bowed in thanks to her as he dashed out the door. Unlocking his bicycle, he rode away in a crazy rush.
It was dinnertime. She only needed to hold down the fort for one hour, which was also the most leisurely hour.
Inside the store, there was only herself and a new girl who had just been hired on after the Lunar New Year. The girl had only been working for about two or three days, and Gu Sheng had only seen her once prior to today. She remembered her name was Dong Yiru, and she looked about the same age as her. Gu Sheng exchanged a couple sentences of idle chat with her before trying to open up her Weibo account again. It was still frozen … Dong Yiru was organizing the shelves while listening to music, and because there were no customers in the store, every now and then, she would send out a WeChat message.
Gu Sheng was still trying hard to fix her frozen account …
Then, she suddenly heard Dong Yiru say “uh-huh” and speak in a low tone into her mobile phone’s WeChat app. “I’m going to cry soon, you know? My most beloved idol just declared twenty minutes ago who his favourite voice is … I honestly want to bawl! At work now. Talk more tonight!”
Really? What was the chance? …
She did not dare keep refreshing anymore and immediately logged out of Weibo instead, for fear that Dong Yiru would see her Weibo screen name and her 2-D world identity would be exposed. She stuffed her mobile phone into her pants pocket and, without anything else to do, started to stand idly by the checkout counter and stare at the main doors of the hospital in the distance.
Her belly … was a little hungry.
For some reason, she thought of the vegetables and shrimp that Toupai was eating. Thinking of food right now was truly torture.
She glanced outside, then around the store, and lastly at the time on the screen of her phone. Coughing lightly, she asked, “Yiru, have you eaten yet?”
“Nope. When your dad and mom come, I’ll get off work with you, and then I’ll take care of dinner.”
Gu Sheng responded with an “mm-hmm.”
(⊙v⊙) How come her conscience was feeling guilty?
“Sheng Sheng,” Dong Yiru, who had finished tidying the shelves and was now walking over to the checkout counter, asked curiously, “do you have a seiyuu that you like?”
“Um… you mean the seiyuus who do the voice acting for Japanese anime?” Gu Sheng coughed again. “Yup. I like watching anime … But I never really paid attention to the seiyuu. They all sound nice …”
Dong Yiru beamed at her. “What about Chinese voice actors?”
“As in dubbed movies? … I rather like them.” Gu Sheng tried to as much as possible to sound as if she was not the least bit into the 2-D world. Otherwise, if she gave herself away, the girl might ask her for her online ID or to follow each other in Weibo or something like that, which would be bad. “When I was a kid, I also liked radio DJs.”
“Actually, there are many very nice-sounding voices on the Internet,” Dong Yiru told her intently. “Also, in a lot of TV dramas, you see the actors talking, but in reality, it’s not their real voices. They use voice actors to dub over …”
Gu Sheng felt as if her heart was dripping blood. “Uh-huh.”
Luckily, oh so luckily, singers’ and voice actors’ voices sounded completely different through the microphone compared to their real, live voices.
Luckily, oh so luckily … Otherwise, even if she started pretending now that she was a mute, it would already be too late …
Seeing that she did not seem very interested, Dong Yiru did not say much more.
All of a sudden, the beep sound of an incoming WeChat message was heard, and furthermore, both of them received the same alert within less than one second of each other.
Gu Sheng picked up her mobile phone … It was … a voice message … from Toupai …
She wondered what he had said in it. Fourteen seconds long. She stared at her phone in silence for three seconds, but then put it away again … She absolutely did not dare listen to it, k? DaRen, why send a voice message? But what if it’s urgent? It’s not that I don’t want to return your message. Absolutely not. It’s just that, your fan is right in front of me, less than a metre away, just on the other side of the counter, you know? …
Wordlessly, she suffered through and restrained herself. While her heart was dripping blood agonizingly, Dong Yiru had already casually tapped on her message and opened it up. Over from her side, the sound of her good friend’s voice could be heard. “I know you’re at work right now, but I feel that, this time, it’s really a huge deal! Did you know, did you know?! Just ten minutes ago! Toupai reposted our song! That one of ours from ten days ago! The one that we made to celebrate the seven year anniversary of the release of his first work!”
Dong Yiru let out a thrilled squeal but then hurriedly glanced over at Gu Sheng.
Gu Sheng quickly shook her head. “I don’t mind… There’s no customers right now anyway…”
Sure enough, a diehard fan. To even remember the exact release date of Toupai’s very first online voice acting project … @@~
When she got home later, she was going to have to have a listen to see what kind of song it was …
Another message followed very closely behind the first, and Dong Yiru did not hesitate to open it up. Gu Sheng figured, she probably thought that Gu Sheng did not understand what was being said anyway, so she did not care.
Gu Sheng listened in curiously, suspecting that this message likely had to do with Toupai as well.
“Let me catch my breath for a sec before I tell you a piece of heartbreaking news… When Toupai reposted our song… Remember we wrote a sentence wishing Toupai that he would find his golden master soon?! Toupai said…… Gawd, let me take another deep breath…” On that end, that person actually did gulp in a large breath of air before carrying on, “Toupai wrote back – let’s see, one, two, three, four, five, six – six words: ‘Thank you. I’m working on it.’ Listen carefully! Not ‘will work on it’ but ‘work–ING on it.’ Meaning currently in progress! I’m willing to bet a cartload of cucumbers that it’s definitely Sheng Sheng Man!
“I’ll up the stakes with another cart of cucumbers…” Dong Yiru replied dejectedly, looking at and speaking into her mobile phone. “Definitely Sheng Sheng Man.”
声优. Japanese term for voice actor.