Something else was supposed to occur (or, more accurately, be released) on Valentine’s Day. Did you remember?
Chapter 28 – Spicy Crispy Skin Fish (6)
Dong Yiru was still in a state of exhilaration and was even scrolling through the comments for her to see. They all said the same thing, all along the lines of “My heart has shattered.” Below Mu Mu’s Weibo re-post, there was no lack of people within the entertainment circle excitedly wanting the inside gossip on what the female subject of the photograph looked like from a frontal view. Mu Mu was especially serious when he replied to a yellow-V Weibo-er who was a closer friend: Pretty. The type I like.
And then below that was another string of comments in the vein of “Is this a hint that someone wants to steal someone else’s girl ( ⊙ o ⊙)?！”
The line-up of comments was very orderly and under control…
“You know, Mu Mu is my absolute cosplayer idol. If I were not paying attention to him all the time, I would definitely have missed this. Don’t worry. It really was deleted almost instantly… Probably no one got a chance to save the photo…” Dong Yiru was still going on and on with her blah blah blah…
Gu Sheng was at a loss for words.
I need to calm down. Calm down…
That was all she could think.
She could not stay in the grocery store any longer. Fortunately, Dong Yiru was still in the middle of her work shift and did not dare talk too much with her. Gu Sheng found an excuse and ran out of there all the way home. Once she stepped in through the doorway, she saw her mother washing dishes in the kitchen. Hearing the sound of the front door, her mom turned to take a quick backwards glance. “Why are you suddenly back? Didn’t you say you weren’t coming home this week? I didn’t leave any dinner for you.”
“Mm … I went to a schoolmate’s house. It’s close to here. I came back since it was on the way.”
Mom did not say any more and simply pointed at the refrigerator. “Your dad and I are on duty to take care of your [maternal] grandma through the night. If you’re hungry, there are buns in the fridge. Get some to eat yourself.”
She answered with an “mm.”
It was good there would be no one at home, definitely good. Otherwise, if she was acting abnormal the whole night, she was sure her dad and mom would interrogate her.
She wandered back into her room and felt her own face. Burning up, so burning up. She could completely imagine how red it was. She had been teased in so many ways and so fiercely today that in retrospect, she rather admired herself for even being able to last all the way back home. T.T
Qiang Qing Ci…
These three names combined together made up one person. And this particular person was the voice she had liked from the time she had first stepped into the entertainment circle. Back then, she did not know he could sing. Her only thought at the time was that one day, she would compose, arrange, and write the lyrics and dialogue for a storyline song, and if Toupai could deliver one or two spoken lines in it, she would feel complete.
At that time, her thinking was so simple…
She changed into her pajamas and sat out on the little balcony of her room. Her hands unconsciously rested on her guzheng. Her heart was still beating irregularly, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly…
She and Toupai… How had they evolved into this sort of relationship? … Was Toupai being serious, or was this just more of the teasing that was normal in the 2-D world and he just could not be bothered to clarify?
She recalled how, occasionally, a big name in the entertainment circle had hinted that she was interested in Toupai and some romance rumors had then followed-suit, but those rumors also died out very quickly. Mo Qingcheng genuinely was not someone who liked to publicly clarify or declare his opinion on anything. On the contrary, he somewhat gave the sense that he was actually dissociated from the 2-D world. With the exception of this time…
She touched her hand to her face again…
Still so hot. T.T
Was this an indication that her mind was going to spend the night drifting around in space somewhere?…
Without thinking, she plucked a note on her guzheng. A “twang” rang out. All of a sudden, something buried in her mind was prodded out. “Shang Ye”… Today was Valentine’s Day. Toupai said he was going to post “Shang Ye” on Valentine’s Day?! Oh no, oh no! The wave after wave of comments that were going to come were just too scary. She had not figured out what she was supposed to do… But if she continued being high profile like this, she really was going to go utterly insane.
She took a deep breath, then got up from the balcony and went back to her own bed. Lying there on her stomach, she stared at her mobile phone. Given the choice between either dialing the phone number or sending a WeChat message, she decisively went with the latter option… Keeping it to that form of communication seemed to at least allow her to maintain her composure a bit more.
She thought for a moment, then decided on typing the message: Still busy?
Very quickly, a voice message was returned from the other end.
Mo Qingcheng’s voice could be heard clearly: “Wait a sec. I just finished showering. Let me put on some clothes.”
Her brain very successfully helped her conjure up an image. The next second, she was burying her face furiously into her pillow. Too, too much allowed for the imagination…
Soon, she heard her phone ring, and it was not a WeChat alert. It was an incoming phone call. Gu Sheng turned her head to the side and looked at her phone. Mo Qingcheng’s name showed up on the screen. He had actually, truly called her. Not WeChat. A phone call… Gu Sheng hesitated for a dozen seconds or so before she finally answered.
“Have you eaten dinner yet?” This was the first sentence Toupai said to her in his first phone call to her.
“Not yet…” Gu Sheng answered unthinkingly.
“I’m still at the hospital. Want to have dinner together?”
Oh god, who could give her a few pounds of courage so she could refuse Toupai for the second time in a day?
In that tranquil atmosphere of her room, she could even hear the steady sound of Mo Qingcheng’s breathing coming from her phone… She very despicably chose to ignore his question and asked about the priority that was on her mind instead. “I wanted to talk to you… because, actually, I wanted to talk about that song we recorded…”
His voice was gentle. Immediately, he understood what she was talking about. “Shang Ye?”
“Mm-hmm… Shang Ye.”
“What about it?”
“I wanted to ask, that song… could we… post it on an ordinary date instead?” As a singer, she could not bear to not release a song that she had put so much heart into recording. But if they were to post it on this particular day, she did not know if she would ever dare go online again. T.T
Gu Sheng was relieved.
“But we might need to change it to a different song, then,” Mo Qingcheng said with a little chuckle, “because they all know that I’m going to post something today as a gift for all of them.”
She knew, of course, the “them” he was talking about was his fans.
Right. He had promised already… so he could not go back on his word and not upload a song. Gu Sheng also felt that would be inappropriate, but… if that song was released today, she truly felt she would not be able to keep it together. Seriously, she honestly, honestly would not be able to keep it together.
“How about this? Tonight, let’s collaborate again on a new song.” Mo Qingcheng very considerately offered her another suggestion. “Do you have a song arrangement that is ready to go? Send it to me and I’ll sing it, how about that?”
It seemed that was the only option.
Toupai was not a singer. If he was, his computer would have to have some stock songs ready, right? And he would not be caught in a bind where he wanted to change songs last minute but had nothing he could use.
“I think, in my computer… the newest one I have is ‘Jinli Chao‘ [Legend of the Koi].” She was a little embarrassed to tell him this. After all, right now, the whole country was making covers of this song, and having Toupai sing it seemed… not special enough.
“Nice. We will stir-fry koi tonight.” His voice seemed to resonate slightly, and he did not mind at all. “You do the harmony?”
She gave in and agreed. Getting up off her bed, she started to look for her new arrangement of “Legend of the Koi.” Actually, it was precisely because the whole country was making covers of this song that she had decided to also have some fun and had made an arrangement with her guzheng playing the main melody. Harmonizing… She had only tried it once or twice. As she thought about harmonizing with Mo Qingcheng, she still felt tremendous pressure weighing down upon her.
It was half an hour of hard work before she finally completed the background music.
Even when she had sent it over, she still felt uneasy…
He sent over a WeChat message: “I posted it. You can go have a listen.”
Did he do it in a single take?!
He truly was Toupai [number one, lead attraction], indeed.
She opened up Toupai’s Weibo. Since he was still at the hospital, after he received the background music, he could only use the Changba app to record the song and then directly upload it from there. Hence, it was a very simple, clean Weibo tweet. There was no additional explanation and no one was @ either.
Gu Sheng breathed out in relief. The harmonies… People should not be able to tell it was her, right?
That would be the best situation. T.T
Only three minutes had passed, and the Weibo post had been re-tweeted more than a thousand times.
She suddenly did not dare click on the link to listen to the song. But deep inside, she still very much wanted to immediately have a listen of Toupai’s version of “Legend of the Koi”…… In the end, she finally mustered up her courage and opened up the link.
While she was still inhaling a deep breath, she could already hear the musical introduction that she had played on her guzheng.
This song’s introduction was relatively long…
And it was with that guzheng music playing in the background that she very clearly heard Toupai use his unique, low voice to gently introduce the song: “This song is a gift from me and her to all of you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
 Toupai is playing on words and similar sounds. He said 炒锦鲤 “chao jinli”, where this “chao” means to stir-fry and “jinli” is the koi fish. The title of the song is 锦鲤抄 “Jinli Chao.” In this case, the “chao” is a different character and is actually a Japanese literary style.
唱吧. A free social networking app that acts almost like a mobile karaoke machine. During singing, it will automatically record and add in built-in effects such as reverb and echo. It can then directly upload onto other social networking sites such as Weibo or QQ. Changba.com
Any of you fill in images in your mind of an unclothed Toupai just out of the shower? 😉
No kidding when it was said the whole country was doing covers of this song, 锦鲤抄 “Jinli Chao” [Legend of the Koi]. If you search for the Chinese name in Youtube, you get tons of different versions.. Now imagine Chinese sites. The version I linked is a cover sung by 小曲儿, the singer of Shang Ye and my favourite singer. There are several good versions out there, most of them duets since this song was written as a duet of two female voices. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a male-female duet, so you’ll have to imagine Sheng Sheng’s harmonies.
I thought the tune was catchy when I first listened to it but didn’t get the hype… until I seriously paid attention to the lyrics. The love story is touching… 😦
In the ninth year of the reign of Ningwu Emperor, Ren Guang, the carved scroll of “Records of Strange Tales” recorded this:
The Fusang[a] artist, Qian Qi, who lived in Tai’an, loved to paint koi. In one area of his front courtyard was a lotus pond. Inside, a koi swam around, and Qi would often play with it.
At this time, the Wude Uprising occurred. The town of Panzhen separated and became independent, fighting broke out, and all sorts of vile and wicked people arose in rebellion. War closed in on Tai’an. All neighbours fled, with the exception of Qi, who did not want to part with his koi.
That night, a fire broke out in his home. Someone entered the fiery scene to protect Qi and said to him that she was a koi demon who originally intended to kill Qi but developed feelings for him and could not bear to carry through with her plan. By the next morning, the fire had slowly died out, but the girl was gone.
Qi thought that it had been like a dream. He ran to the pond but discovered the water had dried up, the lotus leaves had all withered, and the koi inside was missing.
From beginning to end, he had not clearly seen her face. All he could remember was the beautiful lotuses on the bosom of her gown. Their color was entrancing, like tears of blood.
Later, when Qing Yan Ju Shi [‘ju shi’ is probably a taoist or buddhist with great knowledge and abilities] heard his recount, he sighed and said, “When demons and spirits fall in love, their souls have no choice but to turn to scattered dust. Like a moth that cannot help throwing itself at a fire, it is not foolishness but rather, destiny.”
The sounds of cicadas accompany the drifting clouds
As memories start to flood over me, I stare quietly off into the distance
The old well and dried pond overgrown with weeds
Emit a hint of the past
The rays of dawn disturb the new mulberry tree that has grown on the path in the fields
The breeze swirls the fallen blossoms through the winding corridor
The ink follows my emotions as it flows off the brush
And stains my white garments
[1:07] 阳光微凉 琴弦微凉 风声疏狂 人间仓皇
The sunshine is cool. The strings of the qin are cool. The wind blows fiercely. This mortal world is in a flurry.
呼吸微凉 心事微凉 流年匆忙 对错何妨
My breath is cool. The worries of my heart are cool. Time is hurrying by. Why be concerned with right and wrong?
You wandered this mortal world for hundreds and thousands of years
Yet you only let me see you in that one final farewell
As the light of the fire traced out your features and then burned itself out
别留我一人 孑然一身 凋零在梦境里面
Please don’t leave me by myself, alone in this world, to fade away inside a dream
Fireflies are willing to forget summer nights
If truly, it’s time that I ought to say farewell to this period of my past
My sleeves were accidentally stained with the fragrance of the water lotus flower
And from then, I fell into the entrapments of this mortal world
My shoes tread lightly and unsteadily on the candle flame’s shadow
All forms of noise, all forms of silence have been traced into the painting
I continue my journey, from when the insects awake in spring all the way until the first frost descends
My tears join together, like lines of poetry
[2:35] 灯花微凉 笔锋微凉 难绘虚妄 难解惆怅
The burnt candlewick is cool. The tip of the writing brush is cool. So difficult to paint what is imaginary. So difficult to dispel melancholy.
梦境微凉 情节微凉 迷离幻象 重叠忧伤
The scenes in my dreams are cool. The plots in them are cool. Those blurry illusions only cause grief upon grief.
It turns out our farewell was because of a deeply hidden love
You used your reincarnation as an exchange for me to rest with moonlight on my pillow
I wish my memories would stop at my gaunt fingertips
随繁花褪色 尘埃散落 渐渐地渐渐搁浅
And fade away, like the colors of the formerly flourishing blossoms. The dust has settled. And gradually, so gradually, they will come to a halt.
[3:14] 多年之后 我又梦到那天
Many years later, I dreamed again of that day
That image seemed so distant, like looking through a continuous drizzle of rain
If the next life seems too remote that one cannot entrust a promise to it
It would be better to let go of all those things that have been held stubbornly in the heart
Use those fragments of verse and poetry as a way to mourn the passing of years
老去的当年 水色天边 有谁将悲欢收殓
Yesteryear’s scenes have grown old. Who can bury those old sorrows and joys?
The sounds of cicadas accompany the drifting clouds
To those distant memories
[a] 扶桑. In mythology, Fusang was the name of a mystic island east of China, but then became interpreted as current day Japan.