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Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor Chapter 69

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Chapter 69


Editor: Mashiro



Bamboo Forest, evening time, rain.


With the last of his strength exhausted, he collapsed in the mud—a scene that could only be described as “an ign.o.ble existence trying to live”.


The imperial troops lying in ambush have yet to catch up, but he was already at the end of his rope and could not move a single muscle.


As the heavy rain poured from the sky, the dense water pellets fell into the puddle before him. He blinked strenuously, but even so, his lashes couldn’t stop the beads of rain from rolling into his eyes. It hurt so bad he couldn’t see the ripples on the puddle, let alone see his blood that was dispersing through the water. The stench of blood faintly penetrated his olfactory senses.


—I’m going to die.


And it was in a way he was most unwilling to resign himself to.


In the depths of this unknown bamboo forest, in this hour of darkness, he was going to die, in a wretched and miserable state, all alone.


“I… don’t want to die. I don’t want to die…”


Barely holding on to his consciousness, he repeated those words over and over again.


The sound of the rain was so loud; his voice blended in with the rainfall, each sounding more urgent than the one before, as if it were a desperate call.


At this moment, he suddenly heard a crisp, clear voice. “You don’t want to die? What else are you hanging on to?”


As his eyes widened in shock, he could see a man in white reflected in the ripples of the puddle. He did not know where the man came from nor when he arrived, but that man stood there firmly in the wind and rain in a straw hat and raincoat.


Then, everything suddenly blanked out and Qi Jing jerked his head up.


“Ah…”


The tip of his pen gently sc.r.a.ped across the surface of the paper, but still, no word was written.


The current contestant he was listening to in his headphones had already moved on to the second line, but the tip of Qi Jing’s pen was still stuck twirling in place, unable to decide what to write down in his notebook. And more importantly, he was actually unable to conjure in his mind the tone in which “Fang Yisheng” would reply “Bai Ke”…


Weird…


Even though the performance of this voice actor was not bad—the feeling of weakness was properly expressed and the feeling of one last desperate struggle against death was also sufficient—Qi Jing still felt like something was lacking in this contestant’s grasp of the character’s emotions. Once such a thought occurred to him, his mind short-circuited.


The official lines provided were only those of “Bai Ke” and did not include “Fang Yisheng”. However, as someone who had completed《Order to End the Heavens》, just thinking back a little and Qi Jing could tell which part of the story the lines came from.


In the first scene, Bai Ke was being chased by the imperial court and was saved by Fang Yisheng when he was on the verge of death.


To prepare for this, Qi Jing even specially opened a browser next to the YY application window and sought out this part of the story in the fifth instalment of the《Order to End the Heavens》novels, so he could see “Fang Yisheng’s” corresponding lines and practice to the contestants’ performance. However, he had not expected a situation where he would not be able to act to the other’s performance.


Qi Jing had been voice acting for three years, but due to his chaotic work schedule, he often couldn’t find the time to do a live run-through, so he usually records his files on his own when he has the time. After which, he would get feedback from the crew and send a follow-up recording at the director’s suggestions or after listening to the DEMO.


So live practice like this was a rarity and《Trap》was one of the few.


And this situation of getting stuck all of a sudden during the dubbing process has happened before, when he was acting against Bronze Sparrow Terrace. Now, a similar feeling has reappeared.


“This has already happened four times in a row with four different contestants and it’s still happening…” Qi Jing muttered to himself in front of his computer, much to his chagrin.


Staring at the blank piece of paper on the desk with “4” labelled on it, he felt a wave of anxiety washed up.


Was it because he was losing patience because he knew he couldn’t catch up to Shen Yan?


Was it because he was too distracted to listen to the compet.i.tion and couldn’t jot down his comments properly?


That might be the case…


But that didn’t rule out the fact that there were problems with the players’ performances.


Qi Jing shook his head and pushed himself to write down a few words. This was to help calm himself down, by following Shen Yan’s example of writing comments for each contestant. But unfortunately, his mind was in too much of a mess, with too many distracting thoughts, that the logical thinking he was usually good at was malfunctioning.


His eyes would stray towards the time every few minutes, and he also had his phone at hand, hoping that Shen Yan would suddenly call back to say that the operation was over and that he would be home soon or something. However, nothing happened. No matter how on pins and needles he was, he could only continue to listen and write down his opinions in silence.


“It’s alright, Shen Yan has already made it to the next round for one character, it’s fine even if he loses this one,” Qi Jing rea.s.sured himself.


But to be honest, the compet.i.tion for “Bai Ke” and “Old Man Xiao Shan” was completely different. It was difficult for contestants to stand out in this compet.i.tion because the role called for a young voice so there was no need to change one’s voice and the requirement for one’s voice was lower. As such, the bar was naturally set lower and one’s understanding and performance of the lines determined to a large extent whether or not a person could stand out from the crowd.


Amongst the four contestants Qi Jing had listened to hastily, the performance for the first act was average—no mistakes but nothing fantastic either.


Well, it’s not like he could blame them…


For a fragmented line like “I don’t want to die”, it really doesn’t take much skill from the contestants and naturally did not show their abilities.


Let’s take contestant four who had just started his performance, for example, he was the typical “bad guy” that one could tell just from hearing his voice. The wretchedness as a villain desperately clings onto life could be heard as soon as he opens his mouth. The prompt of “dying” provided by the organisers might as well be nothing because in such a scene, one would easily be able to achieve that effect by sounding a little weak and breaking up their speech a little.


In contrast, the lines for the second and third acts gave more room for the contestants to show their abilities.


The second act was the dialogue between Bai Ke and Fang Yisheng, which is set just before the former was intent on killing the latter by poisoning him. Although there were no major ups and downs in the overall tone, there was a lot of meaning behind the lines and it was worth listening to.


The third act was Bai Ke defending his despicable deeds in front of his master, Old Man Xiao Shan. There are fairly clear tone cues in this scene, and the emotions are intense, with all the cold words of scorn and sarcasm and yelling and all that that were appropriate for a villain, so the contestants could just let loose for an explosive scene.


Unfortunately, the third act which had the most to show didn’t have the appearance of “Fang Yisheng”, so Qi Jing was only left with the second scene to practice with.


It was a scene where the two characters were sitting opposite each other, having a drink…


Master Fang, if it wasn’t for you lending a helping hand, I’m afraid I would’ve lost my life at the hands of the Palace’s imperial hounds. I will never forget this great kindness you’ve extended to me.”


Before their banquet for two began proper, Bai Ke started off by making clear the reason for his toast. And as he said those words, he poured the cup of poisoned wine.


There weren’t any prompts at this part, allowing the contestants to do as they see fit.


“As I’ve said before, it’s nothing much, you needn’t think too hard about it, Brother Bai.” Fang Yisheng’s tone was calm and casual, but he gently accepted the wine and downed it in one go—this part was from the novel and not included in the script provided by the compet.i.tion. Qi Jing was reading the lines directly from the novel.


At this point, the contestant playing “Bai Ke” was speaking politely which was still acceptable to Qi Jing’s ears as it was in line with the plot. But then came the next part where the official cue given was “to pose a question” and most contestants really just used a questioning tone.


“It’s nothing… How could Master Fang say it’s nothing? ‘Listen to the Wind Inn’ was miles away from the place where I was ambushed that day; you must have had a hard time trudging through the rugged mountain path in the pouring rain.”



“That’s not it.” He lost it here again.


It shouldn’t be a real question but rather a rhetorical one. Qi Jing annoyedly shook his head in the audience—he couldn’t agree with the way many contestants chose to take on this line in the scene. Ever since he had finished reading the novel, he’d couldn’t help but start imagining the scenes in the book and whenever the other player’s performance didn’t match what he had in mind, he wouldn’t be able to continue acting.


Since the start of the compet.i.tion today, he’s met a few “Bai Kes” who were not too bad and was able to get out a line or two, temporarily breaking away from the blank state his mind was in. However, whenever it came to parts which required extra attention to details, he would immediately break out of character.


To prove that he wasn’t being overly critical, Qi Jing took a glance at the chat.


The audience seemed to have a similar reaction as him.


Audience 1: ( ̄_ ̄|||) Uh… is it just me?? Somehow it feels like all the contestants that have come out so far all feel… a little OOC.


Audience 2: ( ̄_ ̄|||) I don’t think you’re the only one because I feel the same… Frankly speaking, the contestants could pay a little attention to the scene the lines are said in, the plot, and the character they’re speaking to. Some lines are not as simple as they look, it’s probably hard to have a good grasp of the character just by staring at the official lines provided by the compet.i.tion, not to mention the fact that some of them don’t even have cues.【This novel fan is itching to post the original text】


Audience 3: Only the yelling and outburst in the third act feels somewhat satisfying. The first two acts… sound weird.


Audience 4: Sounds weird+10086


Audience 5: The third act has a more intense dialogue so it’s easier for the contestants to get in the mood and sounds better, and the tone in that part is less p.r.o.ne to error. But we’re clearly more concerned about the scenes between Bai Ke and Fang Yisheng!! Bad guys also deserved to be properly studied and a.n.a.lysed alright! Oi!! ╯-_-)╯╧╧


Audience 6: Actually, there are a few Bai Kes who sound bad enough, but they all let loose so much that they all ended up going in a strange direction… And they all went in the same direction【pfft】. Are all bad guys made from the same mold??【Puhaha】Well, to be fair, in this case, the judges’ score wouldn’t differ too much but I haven’t given out a single vote yet and I’m a little sad… _(:з」∠)_




That’s right, there were two points of difficulty when it came to the compet.i.tion for “Bai Ke”:


1. The lines of who he’s talking to were not given so it was easy for those who do not know the story to misinterpret them.


2. The “bad guy” as performed by all the contestants thus far was too standardised, too stereotypically bad.


The average score given by the three judges remained at a mid-range score of three, with an occasional upper middle, four. However, the difference between the total scores of the contestants was very small and the compet.i.tion to qualify would be quite fierce.


But it’s still better to have a chance to compete than none at all.


Qi Jing couldn’t stop shifting anxiously in his seat as his eyes constantly strayed towards the time at the bottom right corner of the screen.


10.20 PM


Almost an hour had pa.s.sed…


More than two-thirds of the contestants have finished their turn and there were only less than five people left but his phone on the desk was still completely silent. He didn’t even receive a text, let alone a call—the operation must still be underway. Besides, it would take a while to get from the hospital back to the neighbourhood even with a run.


“It’s hopeless…” Qi Jing murmured under his breath, trying to convince himself with much difficulty to face the harsh reality. “There’s absolutely no hope if the operation hasn’t ended by now.”


Qi Jing really wanted to get up, take off the headset, and go sit in a corner to calm down. But he tried a few times, and every time he did that, he would be gripped by hesitation at the last moment… Ultimately, he still refused to give up on these few short minutes.


He doesn’t dare make the claim that Shen Yan would perform amazingly, after all, his vibe and voice didn’t match the character. But Shen Yan’s grasp of the tone definitely wouldn’t be too off. Even if his hard skills were not a good match for the character, he could try to put up a decent fight with his “soft skills”, that is his acting, and squeeze into the top ten? …Though all these thoughts are just wishful thinking now.


“Number thirty…”


Yeah, even if number thirty is last of the order of appearance, there’s no way to delay it indefinitely. Qi Jing thought to himself in a daze.


Wait.


No, someone seems to be calling this number…


In that moment, he suddenly realised that the voice was coming from his headphones.


“Contestant thirty—”


When his brain finally reconnected, Yang Chunqu’s bright voice became clearer than day in that instant, causing him to jolt back to his senses!


“Contestant number thirty, can you hear me?” Having received no response, confused, Yang Chunqu called out the number for a third time, this time, not forgetting to include the ID attached to that number. “Contestant thirty, Kitty no Papa, if you can hear me, please turn on your microphone and check your equipment—”


Qi Jing drew a cold breath.


Turns out that while he was fighting with himself internally, the time had turned 10.30 PM before he knew it.


Turns out that it was already the turn of the last contestant, that is, Shen Yan?


…c.r.a.p.


In that moment, his heart felt as if it was gripped by something, every single vessel in his body constricted, and his limbs turned cold as he sat frozen in his seat, not knowing how to react.


The listeners in the chat on the other hand, clearly knew how to react and in fact, they reacted very enthusiastically; everyone was eagerly waiting for Shen Yan’s turn.


Audience 1: ╰(*°▽°*)╯YO!!! Kitty の Papa!! Finally!!


Audience 2: Hmph, I’m definitely not going to admit that I actually have no expectations at all for Kitty’s Papa’s Bai Ke. I’m just here for his youthful voice that’s nice and cosy to hear!! Lalala~ 【That’s right, I cried to his Grandpa performance the previous time】


Audience 3: In any case, I think that the character of Bai Ke is for sure not a suitable role for a good youth(?) like Kitty’s Papa, I’m just here to enjoy his voice. Moreover… I think I might hear an honest and loyal Bai Ke. Pfft. (~ ̄▽ ̄)~


Audience 4: o(*≧▽≦)ツ An honest and loyal Bai Ke, hahaha! The comment above, you really pushed my funny b.u.t.ton! I’ve never heard of the ID, Kitty の Papa, before but all my friends told me to listen to the recording for Old Man Xiao Shan. At first, I wondered what’s there to listen to an old grandfather but who knew, I would really want to bow down to him after hearing the recording! I really look forward to hearing your young voice! Even if it’s for a bad guy!!【Eh】


Audience 5:(┬_┬)Will I admit that the reason why my a.s.s still isn’t in bed is only because I want to hear his version of Bai Ke…


Audience 6:(┬_┬)RTRT. As a fan of the story itself, I’m actually quite ok towards Bai Ke…I don’t feel as righteous and outraged as the Squares. As the saying goes, a despicable person will ultimately have a pitiful side to them. After listening to the compet.i.tion so far, there are some contestants who were not bad and I’ve voted for them, but I definitely felt that there were areas for improvement. I’ve heard a bit about this Kitty’s Papa and apparently he took down the first place for the semis for Old Man Xiao Shan?? I look forward to hearing a different kind of performance.




“I’m terribly sorry, but Kitty’s Papa… he probably won’t be able to perform…”


Qi Jing looked at the words of expectation that filled the public chat, feeling a thorn lodge into his heart, stabbing him so hard that he couldn’t lift his head in front of the screen and could only apologise to everyone dejectedly. The microphone was still turned off and this sentence was just his last rehearsal before he crushed everyone’s expectations.


However, what must be faced still has to be faced…


He took in a slow deep breath and once done, he closed his eyes and reopened them. Qi Jing moved the cursor on to the microphone icon on the screen and clicked it, unmuting himself, and the coloured horizontal bars representing the volume change began to jump back and forth.


At this point, he could only pretend that there were some technical issues.


Qi Jing pressed his nails against the microphone and gloomily gave the surface a gentle sc.r.a.pe, creating an artificial static sound.


“Contestant number thirty?” When Yang Chunqu heard this sound, she was slightly taken aback before quickly asking, “I heard a loud noise but no voice, is there something wrong with your set-up?”


Qi Jing did not answer.


“Ck… psssshtt…”


“It looks like number thirty is indeed in a bit of trouble…” Yang Chunqu hesitated for a moment, unsure if she should announce to the crowd that if the technical difficulties is unable to be solved immediately, “Kitty の Papa” would automatically be disqualified from the compet.i.tion. Especially when the audience was showing such great shock.


Audience 1: Holy heck!! Are you kidding me!! Get your s.h.i.t together, mic!! ┭┮﹏┭┮


Audience 2: Holy heck!! Why does it have to be the contestant I wanted to hear the most! Kitty’s Papa, quickly settle your equipment, I don’t want to have waited all night for nothing!!


Audience 3: _(:з」∠)_ Technical difficulties? Do you have to abuse me so…


Audience 4: _(:з」∠)_ I’m heartbroken… How do you expect me to sleep tonight when I haven’t heard Kitty’s Papa’s Bai Ke!!


Audience 5: Kitty’s Papa do you have your phone!! You can log into YY on your phone!! I don’t even care about the sound quality, as long as you can keep your spot in the compet.i.tion!! He’s the last contestant anyway, begging the organisers to give some leeway, give him some time to download the software or something aAaaAh… ┭┮﹏┭┮


Audience 6: As much as I want to beg the organisers as well, but a rule is a rule, I don’t think it’s good to make exceptions like that. Sigh… What a pity, there are so many contestants who have withdrawn from the compet.i.tion due to technical difficulties this year… Who knew Kitty’s Papa would be one of them as well.




After waiting for about ten seconds, it seemed that even Yang Chunqu, the officially appointed host for the programme, could not delay any longer.


She spoke regretfully, “Unfortunately, it seems that number thirty’s equipment really isn’t working. Since that’s the case, this is the end of the semi-finals for ‘Bai Ke—”


This is the end.


Qi Jing had thought the same if it weren’t for the fact that he heard the rattling of keys coming from the front door at that moment.


Although faint and messy, it was the sound of keys unlocking the door that he was all too familiar with.


A shudder ran through his body as joy instantly washed over Qi Jing—


“MC!” Without even thinking, he blurted the next words, shouting at the microphone for her to stop, “Wait! MC, please wait a minute!”


The voice in the headset disappeared for a moment.


Then, Yang Chunqu weakly asked a question. “Huh… who is… this speaking?”



Mashiro: I was at the edge of my seat with nervousness for QJ, but I still couldn’t help but laugh at the last part!!!

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Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor Chapter 69 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 171 views.

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