Toupai has made his grand entrance. What will Sheng Sheng’s reaction be?
By the way, if you read my intro post for this novel and think the last part of this chapter is very familiar, you’re right. 😉
Chapter 18 – Yan Du Xian [Salted Pork Soup] (3)
With one hand covering an ear of her headset, Gu Sheng listened to the sound of laughter coming from outside the soundproof room and in through her headphones.
“Hi,” she replied. She was trying her best to stay calm and more calm, and as a result, her voice sounded rather feeble.
She never would have thought that he was Qiang Qing Ci, that Qiang Qing Ci was him… A few months ago, the very first time she saw Qiang Qing Ci, she had been playing with her dog and had secretly criticized this man for his fondness of drinking yogurt with fruit chunks… And the time in the store, across the street from him, watching through the glass as he protected his female companion…
Qiang Qing Ci smiled at her again before turning to the recording engineer and requesting, “Could I trouble you to let me listen to what was just recorded?”
He was very tall, so when he bent over to listen to the recording engineer playback the results of everybody’s hard work, his hands were propped on the edge of the desk. Gu Sheng pulled off her headphones, pushed open the door, and walked out the room. When she saw him there, his back facing her, she still felt this was all unimaginable.
A hand snaked up onto her shoulder, and then Dou Dou Dou Bing was next to her ear as she asked with a laugh, “What do you think? He’s got some good looks, doesn’t he? He isn’t called ‘Toupai’ for no reason.”
“Mm-hmm… Very handsome.” She lowered her voice when she said this.
She had not expected that just as she spoke the word, “handsome,” Qiang Qing Ci would happen to turn around and look at her…
Her heart skipped a half a beat again.
Was she afraid that he would recognize her?… Or was she hoping that he would recognize her?
She did not know. All she knew was that she was especially nervous right now, so nervous that she did not dare speak.
Qiang Qing Ci’s eyes fixed on her for a couple of seconds before he suddenly broke into a smile. Pulling a straw out from its plastic wrap, he stabbed it into the yogurt drink and took a sip. “Are you thinking we’ve seen each other before?”
A shocking sentence.
Gu Sheng was so anxious she did not answer right away.
Everyone in the room started to get excited, as if they had discovered a big secret…
“Whoa!” Wwwwk exclaimed and then immediately ripped open a bag of potato chips. “You should have said something earlier. Before Sheng Sheng got here, we were discussing where we should take her to eat and then how we would, in passing, indoctrinate her with your one-of-a-kind, incomparable, amazing guy image.”
“Someone took ‘a winding path to find his secluded little haven.’ Oh yeah, winding path to a secluded haven [an indirect path to get to the ultimate result]. And we’ve been kept in the dark all along.”
“Was it in a photo? Or a video?” Feng Ya Song grinned at Toupai. “Did you secretly upload a video online? High def, no pixels, fully uncensored?”
“Feng Ya Song!” Dou Dou Dou Bing scowled at him. “Don’t talk mature subject matters!”
Everyone was getting more and more inappropriate with what they were saying.
Gu Sheng could not carry on being shy any longer. She nodded and said, “I’ve seen you before, but I’m not sure if you still remember…”
“I remember.” Qiang Qing Ci seemed to be recalling the memory. “That day, you were holding a dog.”
After he said this, he let out a little laugh.
A live version of his laughter, coupled with the real live person right there…
Gu Sheng felt a great need to continuously divert her own attention: look at the person, then don’t listen to his voice; listen to his voice, then don’t look at the actual person…… The two stimuli working together were honestly too much for anyone to handle, k? T T
The conversation between the two of them was simply too vague and left people feeling very curious.
But in this type of circumstance, the more they tried to explain, the more troubles they would bring upon themselves. Plus, Gu Sheng could not simply tell everyone to be quiet so she could explain in detail how Qiang Qing Ci had walked into her family’s grocery store and bought a bottle of water and yogurt, but the two of them had actually not communicated verbally at all so it was impossible for them to have recognized each other… and thus, they only ended up brushing past one another… Right?
A single, brief encounter and yet she remembered him. That was enough for people to think it was unbelievably strange and start speculating wildly…
Gu Sheng struggled with what to do. Further explanations would not work, but not saying anything would not do either.
“Alright, that’s enough joking around.” Toupai cleared his throat and stated flatly, “How we met is our business. It’s not necessary for you guys to join in on the fun.”
Gu Sheng had an urge to make a run for it. DaRen, your way of putting a stop to things is completely ineffective, you know? It will totally make people think completely in the wrong direction, k? … Everyone laughed, some loudly, some quietly, and the expressions on their faces were all different. But everyone’s faces had the same thing written all over them: “There’s a love affair here.”
Fortunately, Toupai was someone who meant what he said.
After stating this, he did not raise the subject again. Not long after, he grabbed a sheet of paper, entered the soundproof room, and started over and over again to try various ways of voicing his monologue. The spoken lines in “Sword Cry in the Land of the Rivers and Lakes” could not be described simply by just the word “dominating.” It gave off an aura of someone looking out over the world with an incomparably commanding and outstanding bearing…
As Gu Sheng listened to Toupai delivering his lines, her mind was already filling in countless images for her. She even had the urge to ask Cousin whether the basics for getting started on playing “Sword 3 Online” were difficult to learn… Her eyes were fixated on Toupai wearing his headset inside the soundproof room, and her entire being felt as if it was not even in a real universe. To be able to listen to Toupai record live was such a huuuuge blessing…
He had voice acted for so many dramas and commercials that he did not need any initial guidance from the recording engineer, relying completely on his own feeling for the script to record six different versions of his lines. The recording engineer listened briefly to them and recommended two, saying they were both very good. Even the professional could not choose just one.
He walked out of the soundproof room, still holding his yogurt, drinking and listening repeatedly to those two versions.
When he was finished the drink, he tossed the yogurt carton into the wastebasket. “I like the first one.” He turned around and looked at Gu Sheng. “Sheng Sheng, which one do you like?”
His eyes were dark and bright. Because she was not directly facing him, the angle she was at made the upward slant of the outer corner of his eyes even more obvious.
Looking at those eyes, she felt somewhat flustered.
“I… like them both,” Gu Sheng replied honestly. “They both have their strong points.”
What you feel towards something depends entirely on your own personal preferences, you know?…… How was she supposed to pick? T T
Jue Mei happened to be off to the side making a phone call right then, but when he heard Gu Sheng’s reply, he could not help covering up his phone with his hand and summarizing for them, “In general, when girls listen to your voice, if you record 100 options, they’ll think all 100 are good. Qiang Qing Ci, haven’t you realized how deadly you are?”
Jue Mei may have seemed as if he was joking, but his statement was absolutely correct.
For the girls who liked Toupai, even if he took the same sentence and spoke it 100 different ways, each one would be worth treasuring. Then, when there was nothing to do, they would pull them all out to listen. They absolutely, absolutely would not dislike any single version…
“Hmm… Let me think about it…” He cleansed his hands with a moist towelette, then picked up the bag of potato chips from the table and started eating, one chip at a time.
The way he ate potato chips was very unique.
Most people would pick up a chip between their thumb and index finger, but he instead used his middle and ring fingers. Furthermore, it did not appear like there was anything wrong with what he was doing, and he was very deft in his movements. After a while, he seemed to have eaten until he was satisfied, and he gave an indistinct chuckle. “Forget it. Let’s think about what we’re going to have for dinner first. We’ll make a choice when it’s time for post-production.”
“Wait, no,” Wwwwk suddenly let out a laugh. “I have a suggestion. Before we go, how about we make a private little souvenir?”
“Private souvenir?” Feng Ya Song chimed in.
“Sheng Sheng loves Toupai’s voice the most. This, we can all tell. Toupai also said that he loves Sheng Sheng’s voice the most … Since Fei Shao has offered us the use of his recording studio for free, this is a rare opportunity. It’ll be a waste if we don’t record a few more things as souvenirs. In my opinion, since the two of you so … love … each other…” Wwwwk deliberately paused for half a beat and rubbed his chin before continuing, “… ‘s voices, why don’t you record a duet right here, live on the spot?”
Fei Shao’s eyes lit up as he ripped off his baseball cap excitedly. “Dang! Awesome suggestion!”
A… live duet with Toupai?
Gu Sheng’s blood pressure, which had just fallen back down not long ago, immediately soared. She stole a glance at the studio, imagining herself and Toupai in that soundproof room… face to face singing… and…
This isn’t a KTV, k? There’s honestly so much ambience in there, k? Two people in that glass room, a bunch of onlookers on the outside…… T T
Even when she was at a KTV before, she had never sung a duet with a boy in front of a whole bunch of people. T T
“Mm. Sure,” Toupai agreed, not showing any awkwardness. “We can upload it onto 5sing after we are done recording. Consider it a Valentine’s Day gift to the fans.”
Valentine’s Day… gift…
Alright… Many DaRen in the online world liked to do something on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Children’s Day, etc. Normal, totally normal.
Gu Sheng was still digesting this suggestion, but he, after thinking briefly, was already saying, “Shang Ye [Oh Heaven]… okay with you?”
Those two words, shang ye, coming from his lips, seemed to carry a heartrending sense of bleakness.
The heckling crowd surrounding them went completely quiet.
The mountains will crumble, heaven and earth will come together, and only then will I cease to love you.
Really. So. Attention-Grabbing.
 Orig. 曲径通幽 ‘qu jing tong you.’ Imagine a winding little pathway suddenly opening up to a peaceful, enchanting, and secluded view. One of Toupai’s friends is insinuating that Toupai knew Sheng Sheng for a long time, but took a long and winding route before finally “getting to her.”
 5sing.kugou.com Chinese website used to share music. Similar to soundclick.com. Users can upload, share, and download original songs, covers, background music, etc.
 Taken from the ancient poem, 上邪 “Shang Ye” or “Oh Heaven”