Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor - BestLightNovel.com
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His heart instinctively reacted to that ‘67’ number—it thumped twice, striking his chest with a slight pang of pain. All the sounds around seemed to have been thrown back to someplace where his hearing couldn’t reach.
He didn’t know what the host had said after that, he also didn’t know what the audience said… He could only hear the beating of his heart growing louder.
Qi Jing slowly sat up from his seat almost mechanically, standing straight up.
“Contestant Don’t ask for my return date will get moved to the group No.67, is that alright?” At the scene, Yang Chunqu was asking him for his opinion.
She waited a long while, yet didn’t hear an answer.
Yang Chunqu was bewildered. “Contestant Don’t ask for my return date, your group number will be changed to 67, is that alright with you?” Although the arrangements have been made already, she still needed to ask him this routine question out of courtesy.
This time, she finally heard the rustling sound of the microphone being moved coming from the other side, then, the other’s activity light flickered, that soft “mhm” basically inaudible unless one really strained their ears—but it still counted as a reaction. Yang Chunqu breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded to let the group No.66 begin first.
Qi Jing still stood unmoving in the same place. His mind was completely empty, a clear blankness as if covered with a snow-white tablecloth, hiding away all of his thoughts, covering it all, leaving him momentarily, utterly dazed.
Once his shock peaked, he gradually started to settle down instead—not that he wasn’t nervous anymore, but he had already lost the cognition of his own ‘nervousness’. Yet his physical reaction was clearly not catching up to that—as he slowly turned the hands he supported on the desk up and looked down on them, he saw his palms covered in a layer of sweat, fingers still shaking. This way, he knew that he was in fact still very much nervous.
So he went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face.
Just like the droplets of water rolling down the side of his face, the rush of his heartbeat changed from frenzied to less rapid, only to slow down gradually with great difficulty, then finally stopping, just like the water droplets gathering under his chin.
“Phew…” Qi Jing exhaled deeply, turning the faucet off. He clapped both his cheeks twice, the pain causing him to calm down a whole lot.
His mood right now was basically one of someone who, despite expecting that only a lifetime of poverty awaited them, suddenly struck gold and won a million yuan in a lottery.
His shock and euphoria were real, but the cardiac arrest he barely avoided was just as real too.
Thinking of this, Qi Jing couldn’t help but laugh. Looking at the sorry picture of himself in the mirror only amused him even further, and so he covered his face with a towel while laughing, trying to dry the droplets quivering at his hair ends along with his laughter. Finally, he curbed his surging sentiments, at last composing himself while going out.
As he returned to his desk, the display of his phone had just turned off—it seemed like he got a message. Of course, Qi Jing knew very well who the sender was.
When he opened it to take a look, there was not a single word mentioning anything related to the compet.i.tion, only a very short sentence:【I’m holding the b.u.t.ton in my hand right now. 】
“So sly…” Even though that man clearly knew that he didn’t have anything by his hand, nothing to reach for, to touch.
He quietly muttered his complaint, yet his brows unfurrowed slightly and he lowered his head with a smile. After going back… he would probably also need to rip off a b.u.t.ton from that man’s s.h.i.+rt as revenge.
Immersed in those thoughts, he was still smiling silently when he suddenly heard the host calling him in the headphones. “Contestant Don’t ask for my return date, the next audition will be group No.67, thank you for your understanding for this unusual arrangement—right now, I will have the moderators give the mic access to the related contestants.”
Hearing this, Qi Jing’s throat bobbed a bit.
Only for him to see the line-up on the screen change, showing the combination he didn’t even think of hoping to see that evening.
Group No.67: 【Don’t ask for my return date】vs.【Kitty の Papa】
He thought that he already prepared himself plenty for it, but when he actually saw the two of their IDs appear alongside each other, Qi Jing straightened his back instinctively, even feeling a sudden urge to go splash his face with cold water once again.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have time for that.
Although he was nervous, since he knew about it beforehands, at least on the surface he didn’t have too much of a reaction.
And as for the oblivious audience, the moment they saw this group line-up, it was as if a drop of water fell into a pot of boiling oil—they exploded momentarily, the chat bursting with the shrieks of joy.
Audience 1: What!!?? Datey and Kitty’s Papa?? Aaaaaah, for the love of me, this line-up… I’m not okay, not at all!!
Audience 2: Aaaaaah! This line-up was so, so unexpected!!
Audience 3: ( ╯‵口′)╯︵┴─┴ A combination like this actually appearing towards the 70th group numbers, are you really not going to let us sleep!
Audience 4: ( k256U;k2035;k53R3;k2032;)k256U;kUR35;k2534;k2500;k2534; Either way, with so many groups out there it already made me give up on my sleep, so one more won’t change a thing! (sobs, actually I’m so hyped already!)
Audience 5: Holy! c.r.a.p! Don’t ask for my return date and Kitty’s Papa! (This line-up really is hype!)
Audience 6: Holy! Moly! Those two are actually in an audition together! I was already getting tired from listening all the way up till now, but all the fatigue was gone the moment I saw those IDs, it woke me up right away! I’m really really really really really looking forward to it, kyaaaaayayayah! (←got so excited that my tongue twisted…)
“I will ask both of you to prepare your equipment before starting.” Yang Chunqu greeted them with a smile. The heated discussion in the chat was plain to see and she had a very favourable impression of those two, but a host is still a host—she had to remain impartial towards all of the contestants, so it was only her voice that conveyed a bit more of her smile than usual.
Qi Jing’s palms were still wet—whether he didn’t wipe them thoroughly after splas.h.i.+ng his face, or was he still sweating, he didn’t want to think about that now at all.
After pressing “F2”, he felt as if he had become a cursor—the flas.h.i.+ng tempo of the one on-screen just about matched the pulse of the heart that rushed up his throat. He knew that everyone was waiting for him, this cursor, to move forward, type something out, but faced with this blank page, he just couldn’t muster a single word.
While on the other side, that man was waiting there silently.
He suddenly remembered how the first time they met, that guy also didn’t take an initiative to speak, waiting silently for the PIA to start on the side, a living image of diligence. And he got curious about this man like a shadow, so he casted a single ray of light at him. He only wanted to take a closer look, yet he didn’t expect that what he casted a light on, was their first crossing in their lives—
At that time, what did he say?
At that time…
His lips opened involuntarily, like the cursor that finally moved by a two words’ worth as he spouted in a daze, “h.e.l.lo Grandpa.”
The man on the other side also seemed to get struck with a daze, then Qi Jing next heard his low chuckle from the other side, his breath falling on the mic causing a small puff noise. But the atmosphere was somehow indescribably harmonious.
Meanwhile, the audience burst with laughter.
Audience 1: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Hahahaha, what kind of greeting is that~
Audience 2: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Hahahaha, Return Date-sama, don’t bully Kitty’s Papa like this right away~ (faking a grandpa voice isn’t all that easy)
Audience 3: o(*≧▽≦)ツ I really looked forward to Don’t ask for my return date’s quirky opening (it’s already became a scenic point, you can already try applying for the rights to it /h), but I honestly didn’t expect the first sentence to be this, pfft…
Audience 4: o(*≧▽≦)ツ didn’t expect the first sentence to be this +1
Audience 5: o(*≧▽≦)ツ didn’t expect the first sentence to be this +2
Audience 6: o(*≧▽≦)ツ So happy!! Kitty’s Papa’s meeting him for the first time, yet he’s already getting so blatantly played with??
In fact, it wasn’t their first time meeting. But this really was the first thing he said when they met for the first time. And using this to play with this man, it really was…
Qi Jing’s ears flushed slightly. Aside from them, no one on the scene knew of this. At that time, he only jokingly laughed a bit about this because he heard that Great G.o.d’s subst.i.tute was a “heavenly immortal style” of a grandpa voice, who got temporarily invited by the audio drama staff to help them. At the same time, he knew that this person was the kind that never chatted on QQ, even using the YY voice chat for the first time. Aside from that, the reason why he cracked a joke like this as a greeting was also because he wanted to take the burden off this man, so that they could go through a PIA together with an ease of mind.
He just didn’t expect that… The one to be unable to leave his burden behind this time would be him instead.
“Are you still okay?” At this time, that man asked so in a low voice, with a trace of audible smile in it, both mild and sweet.
With a ‘still’ added to that ‘are you okay’, it completed the span from their first knowing each other to old friends.
Qi Jing’s heart grew warmer. “Mhm…” He almost didn’t make a sound while replying, only his breath making a noise as it spilled over with warmth.
“You sound nervous, your voice is shaking.” That man listened for a bit to his breathing, then voiced his concern with all sincerity.
Qi Jing controlled his racing heartbeat, but he didn’t go out of his way to control the slight tremble in his voice, letting it come out naturally as he replied hoa.r.s.ely according to the truth, “I am, compared to when I acted with Teacher Longbow before… I’m even more nervous now and more afraid.”
“What are you afraid of?”
“I’m afraid that I won’t be a match for you.”
“No way,” That man chuckled, his voice calmer than ever, yet his words were also much more surprising than what he ever said, “When we first played together before everyone, it was you who took an initiative to match with me, telling me to not be nervous—do you still remember this?”
Saying this was nothing else than actively denying them being strangers.
At the beginning, Qi Jing was considering whether they should pretend that they don’t know each other before the audience, so that his haters wouldn’t have a chance to also involve this guy. But…Qi Jing suddenly felt a piece of his heart being pulled apart and something both sweet and sour spilling out, reminding him of that feeling of drinking a bowl of hot soup from the street side vendor in the middle of winter—a feeling of being so content, that he held his breath with his tears about to spill.
“…I remember,” He paused for a bit at that point, repeating in a voice even huskier than before, “Of course, I remember.”
“Mn, in that case it’ll be okay if we do it like before.”
The tone of the man at the other side was indeed in no way different from how they were used to talking—like two cordial friends talking about daily trifles under the eyes of everyone, just as when they chatted by the table, at the balcony, and on the pillows, leisurely and carefree, not at all bothered by other people’s gazes.
Just as if, there were only the two of them in this world, only them in each others eyes—
Audience 1: Σ(っ °Д °)っ …Eh…
Audience 2: Σ(っ °Д °)っ …Eh, eeehhhh?
Audience 3: Σ(っ °Д °)っ The first time playing together? Wh-when, is it not actually the first time now??
Audience 4: Σ(っ °Д °)っBut from what I remember, those two didn’t meet each other in the finals? Can it be… Can it be that they already knew each other before? (Holy! The gate to a completely new world just opened for me!)
Audience 5: The way they’re talking is so… I don’t know how to describe it… So warm? (I’m already making no sense)
Audience 6: They already know each other, and their relations.h.i.+p is also pretty good?? Aaaaaaaah! What to do, I’m suddenly feeling just! So! Fired! Up! But speaking of that, during Kitty’s Papa’s semifinals, didn’t someone say that Don’t ask for my return date’s voice is very similar to Mr Flatmate’s…?
It was still fine before, but the moment “the flatmate” theory got brought up, the chat instantly boiled up like a kettle on a stove, boiling over from the shock like the puffs of vapour at the kettle beak.
Audience 1: Σ(っ °Д °)っd.a.m.n!! Didn’t the folks from the forum already dig out that Kitty’s Papa’s flatmate is that already retired Sleek Horses Run Fast!?
Audience 2: Σ(っ °Д °)っ d.a.m.n!! Could it really be Don’t ask for my return date?? (Me who’s now completely on fire)
Audience 3: Σ(っ °Д °)っ Is this news about to blow up real big?? (Me who’s now completely on fire too, I’m with you, buddy from above)
Audience 4: Σ(っ °Д °)っ Will! You! Let! Me! Sleep!
Audience 5: Σ(っ °Д °)っ Can someone check their IPs? Right now I really need to know if they share the IP, aaaaaaah!
Audience 6: There is someone, there is! I think our Black Vest can do that!! Our man Black Vest, begging for another good deed in pa.s.sing!! I beg you, quick, tell us if their IPs are the same, I don’t need to know their address, I’m only asking you if it’s the same!! ┭┮﹏┭┮ (Rolls around, cries b.l.o.o.d.y tears begging)
This time, the situation got way out of hand. They revealed their relations.h.i.+p as ‘old friends’, but… should they really appear publicly as ‘flatmates’? To be honest, he felt like they already revealed enough and it wouldn’t do them any good to continue any further. Not knowing whether that black vest user would react in any way, Qi Jing was kind of nervous.
The black vest did indeed react, but their reaction was rather ingenious.
Doing good things in pa.s.sing: ╮(￣▽￣”)╭ Oh my, since so many people is asking, I can just say first, provided that there will be no privacy infringement involved—in short, their current IP is different, completely different~
This was true. Qi Jing secretly rejoiced that he was currently away from home.
Probably because the black vest was too mighty, even using such a definitive word as ‘completely’, their words immediately extinguished the high fires of the ‘flatmate theory’. Some of the listeners commented that “It seems like it was actually Sleek horses run fast”, while others added, “So it’s not Don’t ask for my return date… That’s kind of a pity”, but all of them abandoned this hypothesis, proceeding to channel their thoughts in a different direction.
But this black vest user deliberately added that ‘currently’, which made it sound as if the meaning between the words hinted that ‘at least currently it’s different’, leaving a bit of freedom of interpretation there.
In the end, Qi Jing felt an itch of curiosity at the back of his mind, wanting to know just who this esteemed black vest could be.
“Cough cough, then, let’s begin?” It was when the silence between those two continued for a few seconds already, when Yang Chunqu finally snapped out of it and remembered her duties as the host, and so she coughed hurriedly and asked them.
Just as Qi Jing was about to reply, he heard the man from the other side of the call speak softly to stop her. “Wait. Before we begin… I have a request.”
Eh… Qi Jing was dumbfounded.
Yang Chunqu was also very curious about that, “Please ask, contestant Kitty’s Papa.”
That man’s voice was unruffled like a water’s surface when he said unhurriedly, “I want to change my ID to my real one right now, I hope that Miss Host will allow me.”
Qi Jing’s head shot up suddenly. He heard a buzzing in his ears, as if someone struck a gong just by him, his brain rendered so numb that he couldn’t even budge.
He wanted to type something, but his fingers got too stiff to type.
He wanted to say something, but his voice got caught in his throat.
With his reaction like this, the chat that instantly went on fire created a stark contrast—
Audience 1: Awooooooooooooooo!! °。°(((p(≧口≦)q)))°。°
Audience 2: 〒▽〒 Kitty’s Papa’s real ID!! Awooooo!! (My excitement metre reaching its absolute MAX)
Audience 3: 〒▽〒 I knew that an ID like “Kitty の Papa” had to be a smurf!!
Audience 4: 〒▽〒 Aaaaah, the blood is rus.h.i.+ng to my head!! I’ve been complaining in the forum that there was no one who dug up Kitty’s Papa’s actual ID before, but now he’s actually about to say it himself, that’s, so, ahhh!!! (pardon me, I’m really too excited right now ahhhh!)
Audience 5: 〒▽〒 Is that some great G.o.d? He certainly is some great G.o.d from the circle, if not then maybe a professional VA? (Holy, my heart is about to give up)
Audience 6: 〒▽〒 No matter who he turns out to be, I’m looking forward to it~ Come, hit us with it!
In theory, it didn’t matter at all if the contestant changed their ID on the spot. As long as the person stayed the same, there was no rules violation to speak of. So Yang Chunqu agreed, stupefied, “Okay…”
That man said in a low voice, “Thank you host.”
The next moment, the “Kitty の Papa” ID on the contestant list changed into three back into words—the same three words he used when he first met “Don’t ask for my return date”.
【Geese Fly North】
Having returned to that point after a lengthy detour, for it to be their finish, he couldn’t say that he didn’t feel some sort of fulfilment.
“During this audition, I want to go back to my actual ID, and I will only use it for this one audition. Because…” He went silent for a short moment, then smiled lightly, “Only this way is it special.”
I’m having such an urge to put an【END】, but it would get me killed… _(:3」∠)_
I feel that compared to waiting for other people to dig out their real relations.h.i.+p, it’s much more meaningful for them to admit it openly. Kitty’s Papa gives me such a top vibes… (holds her cheeks starry eyed) ← man’s been the top since the very beginning though??
PS. During this time, I attended one funeral and three interviews, I feel like has been so many turning points in my life lately, I didn’t have much rest these days, I’m very sorry. At least… At least I will write this novel to the end… (lies down crying)
Lucilla: Although I would hate for this story to end here, I need to admit that this chapter gives me such a comforting sense of closure… They started off only acting together covertly, each with their broken part of heart, yet now they can be facing each other openly, with no fear or open wound to be scared of showing… d.a.m.n.
Aaaaaand, happy New Year everyone! I hope it will bring you a lot of joy and luck, but for now, please stay warm and comfy <3
Whiteflare: SY really does mic drop well… That ID reveal was sublime.