Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor Chapter 124

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Chapter 124

Editor: Whiteflare

The first thing he realised was that he screwed up.

The second thing he realised… was the fact that Yuan Zhenming still hadn’t called cut on him, and that the timer was still counting down.

With things like this, I might as well make the best out of this mistake—Qi Jing closed his eyes, resigned to his fate, no longer trying to keep that tottering wall from falling. Instead, he just watched as it turned into sand, flowing down in an unending stream. His words were also scattered like so many grains of sand, “With no name or status, yet… You still desire to rob me of this land…”

With emotions out of control, he couldn’t even make an entire coherent sentence, yet what it conveyed wasn’t “hate”. It was more as if there was some kind of struggle inside him. Rather than hate, it was closer to grievance—grievance about how the feelings between brothers, between the monarch and his subject couldn’t even compare to the mere position of an emperor—it chilled his heart.

Cursing in a shaky voice to this point, he then laughed neurotically, his reason finally reaching its end as he spat out viciously, “You should never be born… To this world in the first place—” After he finished, he once again bursted into a fit of crazed laughter.

As it slowly began to die down, its tone also changed from frantic to cold, and in the end, the laughing part of it faded, eventually letting the sobbing buried deep under it to be heard.

At that time, Longbow called quietly, “…Your Highness.”

This was supposed to be the part where “Marquess Shunyang” couldn’t keep on listening to “Emperor Chang’s” humiliating him, and spoke up to stop him. But completely unlike the acting prompts described, there was not a single bit of that ‘coldness’ in his tone.

More than that, there was even a trace of warmth to it. As if he could hear that his brother couldn’t bear to deliver the blow in that last moment, so even when he cursed him, there was no real harm to it at all. With all of his feelings mixing into a single mess, he also started to choke up with sobs, laughing bitterly “Your Highness… Say no more.”

Audience 1: QAQ Aaah…

Audience 2: QAQ This somehow kinda makes my heart soft… aah…

Audience 3: I always felt it that the brotherhood between Emperor and Marquess (honestly, it would be great if it wasn’t only brotherhood←eh?) was overflowing in between the words of this dialogue… Sobs.

Audience 4: At first I thought that Don’t ask for my return date made a mistake, but listening to this now, I feel like no matter if it is a mistake, or if he interpreted it this way in the first place… At least I was moved. And for him to dare to play like this in a compet.i.tion, he really is brave.

Audience: Yup yup, even if it’s a mistake in acting, I can still experience the characters’ emotions… (I actually cried a bit just now)

Audience 6: QAQ If it only weren’t a compet.i.tion… I wish.

That’s right, if it only weren’t a compet.i.tion—

“Cut.” Qi Jing wasn’t at all surprised hearing that, and even took a long breath, his expression relieved.

If it weren’t a compet.i.tion, then maybe Yuan Zhengming also wouldn’t call a cut on them.

But unfortunately, the compet.i.tion also had its own rules.

Ding.” When the timer stopped counting down, there were still fifteen seconds left on it. There was also another small part of the dialogue they didn’t manage to perform, which would affect the final score. Still, since he already made a mistake, it didn’t matter how much time he spent.

“I’m really sorry.” Before the other man could comment, Qi Jing took the lead in apologising, chiefly to the fans that supported him, and only then to the judges.

“You really are something…” Yuan Zhengming didn’t say anything for a long while before he hmph-ed nasally and said out loud, “You sure have guts, a crooked seedling getting even more crooked the more it grows.”

“Indeed, once my thoughts took a wrong turn, I instinctively went down the wrong path.” Qi Jing replied composedly.

“Tell me, what were you thinking of when you made such a half-turn midways?” Yuan Zhengming asked suddenly, seemingly rather curious to know about Qi Jing’s train of thought. Qi Jing was surprised and didn’t reply for a moment, stopping for a long while before sorting out how to explain himself.

“At that time, I felt as if for a moment I could see Marquess Shunyang’s expression. I felt that if I were Emperor Chang, I would surely become soft-hearted—after all, he’s my only little brother, so seeing him hurt would make me feel sorry for him.” Saying this, he realised that he was questioning the original novel, so he promptly smiled and made his stance clear, “I know that the character in the novel doesn’t think so, so I admit that I acted it out wrong. It was only right for Teacher Yuan to stop me at that point.”

After hearing him say so, Yuan Zhengming chuckled twice. “To have a different interpretation and opinion about one work, even one character, isn’t all that weird. But… The organisers had already written out the voice prompts clearly, yet you still insisted on acting according to your own vision?”

Qi Jing also smiled, “No, I usually follow the original novel when voice acting, but… This time was an exception.”

—As if he got possessed, Shen Yan’s “Marquess Shunyang” drew out a unique “Emperor Chang” out of him. But even if he lost points because of that, he still felt satisfied.

Especially when Longbow followed his suit and matched his course, the enmity and wounds between those two characters scattered like smoke, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

This was the kind of conclusion he wished for.

Nevertheless, going against the original novel was ultimately still wrong.

“Return Date’s performance style kind of reminds me of another contestant.” At that time, Longbow added with a soft chuckle.

“I was also met with a similar situation during the semifinals—contestant overturning the source novel, acting completely according to his own idea, making even more drastic changes than Return Date yet still keeping it coherent and reasonable—all of it with quite an unusual charisma. Teacher, does it ring a bell for you?”

As Qi Jing heard it, he could only see the cursor on his screen tremble a bit—it was his hand that shook uncontrollably. He held his breath, staring at the voice activity lights of the two judges. He didn’t expect for him and this man to be mentioned by an “outsider” in one breath right now…

“Oh, I know who you’re talking about.”Yuan Zhengming’s avatar flickered lazily. As a voice director, aside from the finals, he naturally had to listen through the semifinals carefully as well.

Not only he remembered that—when Longbow said so, the listeners also started commenting spiritedly.

Audience 1: He means Kitty’s Papa!

Audience 2: &#k3012;&#k25KB;&#k3012; He must mean Kitty’s Papa!! Kitty’s Papa’s Marquess Shunyang forfeit&#k2026; The eternal source of pain in my heart!!

Audience 3: &#k3012;&#k25KB;&#k3012; The eternal source of pain!! +1

Audience 4: The eternal source of pain!! +2 (Hearing Teacher Longbow say so, they really are similar)

Audience 5: Aaah, they really are&#k2026; But Don’t ask for my return date only changed the character midways, while Kitty’s Papa did that from the start, even adjusting the placement of the lines. The organisers wouldn’t possibly tolerate a performance this willful, so in the end, he still forfeited out of his own volition&#k2026; But there’s no denying that it was captivating!

Audience 6: Although it was a huge mistake to not follow the original, I still need to thank Return Date-sama for bringing us this different version of Emperor Chang! The interpretation of his psychology later was also very reasonable, I can understand your train of thought. Good luck! Even if you lose points, it was still awesome! >_<

“They give me the impression that they’re ‘voice acting’, but not ‘competing’.” Longbow said with a slight smile, sounding kind of regretful.

“Hah,” Yuan Zhengming showed neither obvious support nor reproach to that att.i.tude, only commenting objectively, “It’s obvious that a commercial compet.i.tion doesn’t suit them, promising seedlings all grow more or less crooked.”

— “Them”Being referred to as such suddenly made Qi Jing feel immensely satisfied, and immensely happy.

He stared unmovingly at the words rolling through the chat, then slowly moved the cursor of the mouse, clicking the QQ chat window with “Geese Fly North” open. There was no new message inside; it stopped at the last exchange they had before.

He looked as the cursor kept flickering, the light in his irises flashing along with it as his expression slowly turned into a reminiscent of the “^_^” kaomoji Shen Yan sent him.

He was just about to write a few words to send him, but it was then when the score got announced.

【Group Score】: 4.0, 4.0, average score 4.0

【Elapsed Time】: 45 seconds = 0.45 points

【Audience Votes】: 88.5% voting ratio = 0.885 points


Overall group score: 4.0+0.45+0.885 = 5.335 points

Since Longbow couldn’t give a score as a partic.i.p.ant, it was Yuan Zhengming who gave his score for these criteria instead.

For this group score to actually overtake the one for “Time Limit’s” group, it actually caught him by surprise. Qi Jing expected Yuan Zhengming to be harsh and deduct him two or three points for misguiding Longbow… Not only that, but even Teacher Pu gave them a high score of 4.0 points. He didn’t know why, but that made him feel somewhat guilty instead.

Yet, Yuan Zhengming dispelled his guilt with a cheeky smile, “You were cooperating quite well at the start, and even though it got a bit off-track later on, you did splendidly in terms of naturality. Let me put it like this—a straight line is a line, and a diagonal line is a line as well, so as long as they link up well, it shows that there is some kind of compatibility between those two people. Those who aren’t compatible will only create a bunch of dots strewn around that even when trying to link them together would still result in a chaotic mess.”

The last time Qi Jing heard a description like this was during the higher algebra cla.s.ses at college.

Teacher’s Teacher sure was profound…

Next there was the individual score. Again, Longbow couldn’t give himself a score, so only Qi Jing’s part was displayed.

“Don’t ask for my return date” individual score:

【Voice Quality】: 3.5, 3,5, average score 3.5

【Enunciation】: 4.0, 4.0, average score 4.0

【Foundation Points】: 4.0, 3.0, average score 3.5

【Charisma】: 4.0, 4.5, average score 42.5


Overall average score: 3.5+4.0+3.5+4.25 = 15.25 points

Additional audience vote points: 76.6% voting ratio = 0.766 points

Overall score: 15.25+0.766+5.335 = 21.351 points

He originally already made preparations to frankly accept a miserable score, yet he didn’t think that the outcome would come out much better than he expected.

Longbow was always the one to judge kindly, and this time wasn’t an exception, and Pu Yuzhi, who was consistently pretty strict, actually gave him the highest 4.5 score for ‘charisma’. When he first saw it, Qi Jing thought that he saw it wrong, and so he stared at it for a long while before snapping out of it. But she also deducted two whole points for the foundation points score, probably as the price for his interpretation of the last few lines going against the canon plot—but it was a small price nevertheless.

It wouldn’t count as an ideal score, and it wouldn’t even stand up to the compet.i.tion. Despite that, for Qi Jing it was still the audition he was the most proud of… because in this evaluation, ‘he’ finally became ‘them’.

In the empty chat box, he typed in one word: 【Us】

Just as he was about to press send, his phone rang suddenly. He took a look at the display and the corners of his lips curled up slightly. Turns out that man didn’t message him on QQ because he was waiting for the scoring to be finished so that he could call him directly.

After answering the call, he didn’t say ‘h.e.l.lo’ as he would do with any stranger, opting for a gentle nasal hum instead. It was soft and indolent, like the lazy image of how every morning he would pretend to not hear his boyfriend’s alarm clock, more interested in snuggling into this man’s embrace and loathing to part with the bed.

After taking off the headphones, the noisy clamour and hubbub of the 2D world stopped momentarily, as its power got cut off, leaving the surroundings quiet. At this time, the wind outside became clear to hear. That sound of sweeping gusts had quite an effect on his cooled yet slightly feverish auditory nerves.

Qi Jing stood up from his chair, walking over to the window. Even when he was done doing that, the man on the other side of the call still had yet to speak.

Qi Jing also didn’t hurry him, offhandedly pulling the curtain a bit, watching the night scenery outside. The business hotel he was staying in was rather close to the centre and his apartment was facing away from the main road, so the sight from his window wasn’t like that in most of the brightly-lit metropolises he had been seeing so often.

The main colour outside was still black. The light inside the apartment stayed easily within the window panes, reflecting his room as well as his own person.

As he waited, he suddenly got in a good mood, so he moved closer to blow hot air on the window, then drew a heart in the centre of its fogged white surface. Just as his finger connected the start and the end of the heart’s shape, he finally heard that man’s voice through the receiver.

“You come back now, please?” It was somewhat sheepish, a bit like a childish pleading. When said in that low and husky voice, it simply made his heart squeeze momentarily.

“Mn.” Even though he clearly knew that it was impossible, he still looked down and agreed with a soft chuckle, “Okay.”

Another spell of silence.

He stood quietly for a long time by that window, his finger continuing to write a “Yan” character inside the heart, his smile unchanging as he listened to that not so even breath of the man on the other side. As that rapid breath slowly calmed down, the struggle in his heart also seemed to have finally pa.s.sed, finally turning entirely into a dejected sigh.

“I’m sorry… I’m not really saying for you to…” Come back. This kind of an unreasonable request would only be troublesome.

“I know.” Of course Qi Jing knew, because, “For a person like you to actually say something that might trouble me… It’s even more difficult to do than my going immediately to buy a return ticket right now.”

Shen Yan didn’t reply, only taking a slow, deep breath—it seemed like he still hadn’t calmed down entirely yet.

Qi Jing didn’t hear him speak, so he just listened to the noise of the static in the background, which surprisingly let his mind relax a bit. It’s only that, as the fog on the window started to disappear, he watched the “Yan” character framed inside the heart fade away, the expression on his reflection slowly turning melancholic as well—in the end, he still admitted to his loneliness.

At that time, Shen Yan suddenly spoke and asked, “Qi Jing, did you… because of me…”

Qi Jing understood what he was asking about immediately, but he didn’t answer it directly, only smiling as he replied with another question, “What is it? Did you feel moved by me, hm?”

Shen Yan sighed again. “You really don’t have to worry about me, I’m already fine.”

“If I shouldn’t worry about you, then how about missing you?” Qi Jing spoke in a low voice, supporting his head against the window gla.s.s. There was a certain rich quality and flavour to his laugh, like that of a melted chocolate, slowly seeping through the call between them. For a moment, Shen Yan wasn’t able to say anything.

Qi Jing raised his head, gazing at the star-like lights outside as he continued his murmur. “You know, I… Before, I would always have to run around outside, travelling for business trips; the time I spent in the hotels was probably more than my time at home. Sometimes, I would go gathering news for the whole day and only get back at midnight, with no appet.i.te to eat and unable to fall asleep, so I would sit alone, s.p.a.cing out by the window. At those times, I felt that staying at a hotel wasn’t different from staying at home at all, it was all dark outside, maybe with few windows lit up, always the same no matter where I was… But now it has changed.”

He stopped for a moment, his voice getting lower. “Right now, I’m looking at the Beijing nightlights, but I feel like they’re not as warm as those I see back at home—” Not as warm as those I see by your side.

“Mn.” After a while, Shen Yan replied in a low voice.

“Does it prove that I’m getting old?” Qi Jing laughed. Shen Yan also laughed along softly, a faint yet rich emotion flowing in his breath, pouring out from between the sounds.

When the call ended, the phone in Qi Jing’s hand was warm, so warm that the warmth of the room became kind of redundant.

Qi Jing returned to his chair satisfied.

The good side of having a numbered line-up for the compet.i.tion beforehands was that he could estimate the time they had left, and so he estimated that it was about the time for their next auditions before he finished his call with Shen Yan. And unsurprisingly, by the time he got back to the computer, there were still two audition groups before it was his group No.66’s turn.

This time it would be “Fang Yisheng” against “Bai Ke”.

He had to temporarily get out of that crazed Emperor’s mindset, once again changing into that cold and aloof Lord Fang, Inn-owner Fang.

“For the next stage, we will ask the contestants of group No.66 to take the field!” The other two contestant groups didn’t take that much time, and after a short while, it was finally his group’s turn. As always, Yang Chunqu controlled the coming and going of the contestants in a neat and methodical manner. Although up to that point, a few mishaps happened during the finals, the overall tempo of the auditions was quite good, in great part thanks to her hard work.

Qi Jing took a slow breath in, trying to keep calm. He’d better try to rid himself of the influence left by his mistake during the last audition, only this way he would be good to go.

He wondered who he would stumble upon this time…

Before he could even look at the contestants list, he abruptly heard a pinkish bubbly old uncle voice in his ears, “Return~ Date~ Sa~ma~”

Qi Jing was petrified and his skin crawled with gooseb.u.mps. No, freaking, way?

Group No.66: 【Don’t ask for my return date】vs.【How long away is forever】

Qi Jing momentarily saw black before his eyes.

Again?Just how many times do I have to “Never Come Back” with this guy?

“Return Date-sama~” How long away is forever didn’t at all realise the speechless terror that washed over Qi Jing. He sounded even happier than previously, announcing the joyous news to everyone present, “I got to meet Return Date-sama again! I’m so happy!”

Qi Jing silently turned his face away.

Ever since he “did an impression” of Sleek horses run fast that one time, this kid seemed to really believe that it was him who recorded him and started to treat him as his second idol. If he knew it would turn out this way, he wouldn’t try to get that recording from the real deal… Qi Jing regretted it deep in his heart.

But if they got put together by a random draw, then there was nothing he could do about that.

“So… you actually also signed up for ‘Bai Ke’.”

“That’s right, that’s right! I signed up for three roles, that is ‘Yan Buliu’, ‘Bai Ke’ and also ‘Emperor Chang’! But I didn’t get into the top ten for the last one, so I couldn’t proceed into the finals.” Even mere listening to his tone made one imagine a QAQ-like expression he was probably making right now. Qi Jing turned his face even further away.

“ Just… how much do you like to play villains?”

“Eh, how did Return Date-sama know? Is it because we have a telepathic connection?” The pink bubbles only intensified.

It’s because it’s so plain to see, kiddo!

Under these circ.u.mstances, the audience made its way happily to cause some trouble.

Audience 1: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Pffhhahahaha, it’s “Not Coming Back” group, it’s “Not Coming Back” group again!!

Audience 2: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Pfft… So clingy, you simply just can’t shake him off!! Datey, what will you do about that??

Audience 3: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Our fellow How long away is forever really is smitten devoted~

Audience 4: Waah, do you treat my Time Limit ship as dead! Little Noodles, quick, come here, your family’s little top【although only in 2D】stumbled across a stalker!

Audience 5: A stalker… Hahahaha, this description fits quite well. Saying that, during today’s auditions, it’s the first repet.i.tion in groups, so could it be that contestant Forever really has some stalker tendencies? (rubs chin)

Audience 6: ╮( ̄▽ ̄”)╭ Don’t be like that, you need to have some sympathy for Don’t ask for my return date-sama…

This fellow at the end, your comment and emoji don’t quite match up—Qi Jing felt as if he already used up his month’s worth of snark.

At that time, the host lady who didn’t cut in all the way up till then finally interrupted How long away is forever with a cough, saying with a weak apologetic smile, “No, I’m sorry, I actually wanted to say, this kind of arrangement… according to our rules, it’s not allowed.”

Qi Jing was dumbstruck.

How long away is forever was dumbstruck as well, and so asked foolishly, “Ah? What not allowed? Why is it not allowed?”

“It’s because contestant How long away is forever has already auditioned in a group with contestant Don’t ask for my return date,” Yang Chunqu explained patiently, “If it was an audition for a different character, then there would be no issue. But in the current repeated line-up, contestant Don’t ask for my return date is again playing ‘Fang Yisheng’… With the same partner and the same role to play, it’s about the same as if the two of you already had a run-through. Your tacit understanding of each other is surely higher than that of other people’s, so it would be unfair for the rest of the contestants.”

That’s true… Still in a daze, Qi Jing considered Yang Chunqu’s words—the organisers had a point by making such a rule.

How long away is forever had already heard his “Fang Yisheng” twice, so he was already familiar with his voice acting style, so he was probably more confident than if he met another “Fang Yisheng” which could cause other contestants to object.

Hearing this, How long away is forever wailed in complaint with that big uncle voice of his. “What tacit understanding! I have just cooperated with Return Date-sama once, just once! I want my second chance to cooperate~ I beg you, miss host~”

“I… I’m sorry.” Yang Chunqu nervously wiped off a handful of sweat.

“Return Date-sama, quick, help me beg miss host!” How long away is forever turned to the tactic of roping him into his shenanigans.

“I have no say about this. It’s all about how the organisers want to handle it.” Qi Jing was still turning his face away. How long away is forever once again whined miserably while the chat laughed their heads off, the atmosphere incredibly merry.

“Ugh… In a case like this,” Yang Chunqu seemed to leaf through to something by the mic, as only a sound of turning the pages could be heard. Then, her activity light shone once again, “I just looked through the rules to confirm—if there’s a repeated group with at least one character overlap, the contestant for the repeated character will be moved to the next group with the same line-up of characters.”

Hearing this, Qi Jing opened his eyes wide, instinctively holding his breath.

“The next group with the same ‘Fang Yisheng’ and ‘Bai Ke’ line-up… Ah.” Yang Chunqu paused a little, her voice brightening up, happy with finding the answer she was looking for so swiftly, “67.”


Lucilla: Merry late Christmas everyone! Sorry for the late update, this chapter is a chonky one and I got caught up with the preparations for Christmas… But I hope you’re spending the end of this year all warm and comfy ^^

Whiteflare: dundundun! 67 :O?

Haha, hope everyone had a great holiday~

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Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor Chapter 124 summary

You're reading Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): He Jian Jiao (yan Qiu), 荷尖角(焱蕖). Already has 121 views.

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