Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor - Chapter 76[Updated at: 2021-11-18 10:20:00]
Sleek horses run fast.
Qi Jing remembered that ID very clearly.
The god-level VA who had retired from the circle for many years already, the main life core of the producer who introduced him into the voice acting circle, Ninth Lady.
As for why she called him her “main life core” and not just “life core”, it was because Ninth Lady’s was pretty liberal with her love, resulting in her having quite a few of other VA life cores. But her “main life core” was her all time favourite, which just went to show how highly regarded he was compared to the others.
And as for the reason for Qi Jing’s especially deep impression of that person… Well, there was a reason behind that as well.
When a person just enters the circle and is constantly told that “your voice sounds pretty similar to so-and-so”, then this person will naturally retain the memory of the said so-and-so.
And that was exactly the case with him and Sleek horse run fast.
Back when he was still a little newbie VA, Ninth Lady found a few background characters to practise acting. When those audio dramas got released, Sleek Horse’s fans immediately fell into uproar. That was because at that time, Sleek horses run fast had already retired from the circle and his voice being of quite a unique type, the fans couldn’t find any substitute for him. Hence, those numerous committed fans could only keep cry bitter tears, until out of sudden, in their time of despair, they discovered a VA with similar voice type—they were all on cloud nine.
“Little Sleek Horse”, “Younger version of Sleek Horse”, and “Sleek Horse’s little brother” were basically the nicknames everyone called him before the ID of “Don’t ask for my return date” got popular.
Later on, his individual style has been slowly recognised, then familiarised with by the people in the circle, but it couldn’t be denied that the already retired great god had indirectly brought him a lot of attention.
It was to the point where it could be said without any exaggeration that the first fans of “Don’t ask for my return date”, at least half of them were or have always been, Sleek Horse’s fans.
Getting to the bottom of it, the reason behind Qi Jing getting roped into the circle was also because of Ninth Lady’s “love them, love their dog” attitude.
At the present, it has been over three years since he entered the circle and over four years since that great god had retired… Although the fans of that retired great god had gradually fallen silent, he was still a legend in the hearts of the masses, his influence still present in the circle.
Because he wasn’t mentioned as often anymore, Qi Jing initially had troubles remembering that person, even not expecting that this person could be used to dodge the bullet.
Still, it was good enough to move away from being in the eye of the storm—
“Sorry, Sleek Horse-sama.” Qi Jing laughed bitterly.
Jade Butterfly would certainly get a huge jumpscare if she got to know that he lived together with Shen Yan, then used her connections with Northwest Road to tamper with those two finals Shen Yan had already qualified into—that would be bad. But, if they used an already retired and unreachable great god as their shield, then she would probably be left with no reason to retaliate.
Under those circumstances, as long as he decided to not speak up, the rumours would die a natural death with the course of the time.
As the 2108th commenter’s speculation, the former Sleek horses run fast’s fans couldn’t hold back and started appearing one after another, every one of them with hot tears bursting from their eyes.
After all, the return of their male god was akin to an unattainable dream.
It was fine even if it was an assumption, after all, there was no harm to letting them dream for a moment.
〒▽〒 … The gal from 2108, you bastard… Why did you have to mention that ID!! WHY!! (bursts out crying)
Before his retirement, he was my absolute favourite VA!! It’s been so long since he left us… He also had so works, so I can only listen to those few on the loop (collapses). I lament the fact that the circle was only starting to take off at that time so there was both a lack of audio dramas and people to listen to them, but once more people got into it after all that time, he suddenly retired from the circle…
〒▽〒 Is the commenter above another me?! Pleased to meet you!
To be fair, some really popular staff members from the circles are all Sleek Horse-sama’s fans, so if he were to come back, he would surely take the online voice acting circle by storm, getting popular in and out of the circle! (Ah, but he’s already popular enough…)
Also also, I think that his and Return Date’s voices are kinda similar too… That’s why I really like Return Date, hehe~ >///<
I’ve always been a fan of Sleek Horse-sama… My heart has never changed……
But he really is a god of hiding, probably only the insiders know his QQ; all that’s been revealed to the public is his weibo account. Since his retirement from the circle, he has only posted twice on weibo… Only two posts in the span of years!! （╯－＿－）╯╧╧
┭┮﹏┭┮ I didn’t think there’s so many Sleek Horse’s fans in the forum… *sobs* I’m not alone anymore…
Are you guys as miserable as me? Even though I know he has only posted twice since his retirement, I still can’t help but check his page every day.
Qi Jing had also checked Sleek horses run fast’s weibo account before out of curiosity.
Unfortunately enough, by the time he checked it, all of his previous posts were already completely deleted, leaving behind only news of his exit from the circle. To this day, it had already been reblogged over twenty thousand times by his fans whose number was nearing six digits; the amount of comments was also staggering, most of them consisting of tearful cries of regret and unwillingness to let Sleek Horse go.
That declaration of retiring from the circle had been posted four years ago.
Since then, Sleek horses run fast surprised his fans by posting twice more: one post was simple “I am sorry” from two years ago, then the second “What to do”, posted a year later.
Both of those times there was a crying emoji added at the end, letting everyone’s imagination run wild.
Both of those times, it was only three words, but the amount of reposts and comments naturally exceeded that number by far.
Those few years, getting verified on weibo became a thing, so the loyal fans of his got taken by surprise as they did their daily refresh of his page and saw him get a “verified” mark to his ID as well. It proved that in fact, he still kept logging into that account—just this made them mad with joy.
Seeing them mention it now, Qi Jing instinctively opened weibo.
Immediately as he logged in, a couple of DM notifications popped out in the lower right corner of the window, flickering without a break.
Qi Jing could more or less guess the content&#k2026; Most of them were asking him to clarify the matter of him being “Kitty &#k306R; Papa’s flatmate”. Of course, after he opened them, quite a few staffs he was close with flocked over stealthily to ask him, but he played dumb by answering with a single “?” to all of them.
But there was a certain person, one Qi Jing couldn’t fool even if he tried, that guy wouldn’t buy it with a simple question mark…
★Five★: … You guys already live together?? That “flatmate” has to be you, right?? Tsk tsk tsk…
As expected from someone who knew of him and Shen Yan knowing each other, he was closer to the truth than any other person.
Qi Jing tried his best to keep calm.
Honestly, it didn’t matter—as long as the other party didn’t see him residing with Shen Yan with his own eyes, as long as he didn’t admit it, the other party would have no way of proving anything.
Thinking this, after a while of consideration he decided on a simple “That’s just your guess, right” then sent it.
After a short while, “Five” went online to continue the conversation.
★Five★: （︶︿︶）… It is indeed my guess, but I got it right, huh?
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: Since it’s a guess, then you shouldn’t use phrases like “has to be”. To jump into conclusions before the matter gets proven, this habit truly is bad, so bad…
★Five★: （￣︶￣） Of course I have a basis. That flatmate’s voice is incredibly similar to yours~
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: You shouldn’t assume too much when it comes to people with similar voices…
★Five★: No, no, no, your voice is very distinctive, it’s very rare to find someone with such a voice. What’s more, your relationship with him is so good; aside from you, who could it possibly be?
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: How did you know that my voice is distinctive? Did you hear me talking?
★Five★: I listened to your audio dramas. ╮(￣▽￣”)╭
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: …….
★Five★: I’m not lying okie~ I specially searched through the dramas you starred in and listened to all of the longer ones, lalala. ╮(￣▽￣”)╭
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: Then I’m really honoured… Then, what did you think of my works?
★Five★: Your voice acting is fire, really. It’s a pity you don’t have many roles as the main lead, otherwise…
★Five★: No, wait wait wait…
★Five★: Phew, I almost got sidetracked by you!! （╯‵□′）╯︵┴─┴
“Aiya,” Qi Jing clicked his tongue in disappointment, “I almost managed to sidetrack him.”
That guy really was more vigilant than he thought.
★Five★: （︶︿︶）A moment of carelessness and I was almost lead away from the topic by you. You really are a crafty man—I won’t get fooled by you anymore.
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: ……
★Five★:（︶︿︶）Now be good and answer the question, are you that flatmate or not?
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: I already said, it would be rather reckless to assume it’s me just on the basis of some similarity in voice…
★Five★: And I also already said, there’s nearly no person with a voice similar to you, it’s too distinctive.
“Five” seemed to be dead set on this point about similar voice qualities.
At that time, Qi Jing suddenly thought of those conjectures from the forum and decided to make a good use of the inspiration those girls gave him to stump that “Five” guy.
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: Who told you there’s no one like that? You go and look at the forum yourself, those girls had already dug out that guy’s ID.
★Five★: Oh? Who would that be?
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: You should know that person—Sleek horses run fast himself.
At that moment, the conversation in the chat box stopped suddenly.
Qi Jing waited for the whole sixty seconds without seeing the other’s reply—only then he froze, realizing that something seemed to be wrong.
After a long while, “Five” who kept the silence for all that time suddenly sent a string of “heh”’s, as if laughing, but also not—the sheer look of it made Qi Jing feel weirdly unsettled.
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: What’s wrong…
★Five★: You ah, you really are a dumbass.
He also added an emoji with its tongue stuck out at the end.
Even though his wording was derogatory, it was apparent that he wasn’t really cursing him out, although there was a bit of a mocking tone to his words. Qi Jing was hence quite at a loss for a spell.
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: … Why would you call me a dumbass?
★Five★: Because that person couldn’t possibly be Sleek horses run fast. And you using him as a meat-shield only further ascertains my conclusion.
CV-Don’t ask for my return date: It’s not like you were present, so how would you know that?
★Five★: Hehe… It’s exactly because I wasn’t present that I knew that.
At the first glance, that reply had no logic to it.
But thinking carefully, Qi Jing suddenly lost his breath; he covered his mouth in shock as he stared at the other party’s last words on the screen.
There was an implication there—a clue like a fine spider thread, the truth floating on the water yet hidden between its ripples; invisible unless one looked hard enough.
Perhaps it was because he didn’t reply for too long, but the other sent him an invitation.
★Five★: Return Date, you go and enter that “chitter-chatter” channel on YY now—I will wait there for you.
Suddenly, Qi Jing felt a huge pressure weighing over him.
Spurred by that pressure, his fingers mechanically moved the cursor slowly, beyond his control, and clicked the YY software’s icon, entering that “chitter-chatter” channel just as that guy told him.
There was basically no other channel member online at that time, after a single glance, there was only a lone “★Five★” on the online list.
Coming over to YY must have meant that they would be using the voice chat…Qi Jing put on his headphones without being prompted; just as he turned the “voice activity” mode, “Five” moved him to a separate locked room.
They were in a completely one-on-on situation.
Just like this, that intangible sense of pressure got even more severe.
Just as he hesitated whether he should speak up first, the indicator light my “Five”’s ID suddenly flickered.
A man’s slightly amused voice entered his ears.
“Good afternoon, Return Date.”
At that point of time, Qi Jing could hear his own gasp—an especially awkward one.
“Impossible…” That last “impossible” slipped through his mouth without his thinking, the word blurted out in a daze traveled through the mic and all the way to the other side. The other party laughed gleefully upon hearing it, then sent a link in the chat.
“That’s the weibo page of the person you are talking about.” The other party explained leisurely.
Qi Jing composed himself and clicked it open without saying a word.
It was indeed that long-since-abandoned Sleek horses run fast’s weibo page, still as cold and desolate, still with just those pitiful three posts on it.
But his breathing quickened out of a sudden and he subconsciously moved his hand to press F5 a couple of times, refreshing that page.
Because he had a really strong premonition.
A premonition that the fourth post was about to appear there—
“Are you ready?” Asked the voice in his headphones, the smile in his voice still clear as day, “That person is going to scold you on his own page.”
At the same time as that sentence ended, Qi Jing’s finger pressed on the key once again, causing it to click as the page refreshed.
At that time, a sudden change appeared on the page.
A new post popped out on the screen.
【CV-Sleek horses run fast: Dumbass.】
There was a small emoji with a tongue stuck out at the end, exactly the same as those he had just seen a while before.
Qi Jing took a deep breath as he massaged his throbbing temples, his expression completely defeated.
He was a dumbass.
An utter dumbass.
“Sleek Horse-sama… “ He smiled bitterly as he said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Sleek horses run fast bursted out laughing—it took him a whole half a minute before he calmed down.
At the same time, Qi Jing kept reflecting upon himself as he sat dejectedly before his desk, deeply analyzing how far his IQ dropped.
“To be fair, Return Date, you almost got me there.” That man laughed slyly, “As long as you hadn’t tried to use me as a meat-shield, I’m afraid I would really get fooled by you.”
“… I never would’ve expected to meet the real deal under those circumstances…” Qi Jing’s voice was now completely weak.
“Hmm? Are you surprised by me?” That man said with a low chuckle.
“I am indeed very surprised.” On the one hand, speaking with that guy was virtually like talking with a long-lost brother—their voices were really similar, it’s just the other party’s voice had a bit more of a brighter, honest-sounding quality than his. The other reason stuck in Qi Jing’s throat for a long while before he finally vocalised it, “You’re too… different from what I had imagined.”
“For example?” Sleek horses run fast’s tone as he spoke reminded Qi Jing of an old scheming fox squinting its eyes.
Qi Jing’s lips twitched a bit as he opened the weibo DMs window, opening his and “Five”’s—that is, Sleek horses run fast’s—chat records to copy all the kaomojis the other had used and paste them into the YY chat.
For example stuff like this “╮(￣▽￣”)╭”…
And stuff like that “(づ￣ 3￣)づ”…
“No matter how I look, it’s a completely different image from what your voice would suggest…” Qi Jing once again facepalmed. Damn it, it was so roast-worthy that he didn’t even know how to start roasting it.
The other man kept laughing, laughing to the point he started to wheeze.
“What would my voice suggest?” He obviously asked this while knowing the answer; Qi Jing could feel his wickedness.
What would it suggest?
How could the voice regarded by his numerous fans as “the total gong voice” be associated with those kaomojis?
It wasn’t his first time to realise the deceptive nature of a voice, he met too many people like that to count, but with such a discrepancy to appear on the man who had always been titled as the “original” of his voice type, he really didn’t know where to start dissing.
If one only looked at their voices, Sleek horses run fast and him belonged to the same category—even in terms of characteristics they were really similar, so a person who wasn’t able to distinguish voices as well could easily mistake them as a “pair of brothers”. Sleek horses run fast’s voice was a bit more deep in comparison, not as frivolous or clear as his, but there was still a strong sense of dominance to it—he wouldn’t necessarily lose out even in comparison with a subwoofer-like voice like that of Bronze Sparrow Terrace.
What’s more, both of their voices had the same kind of suave quality to them.
Qi Jing’s voice quality was frivolous and crafty, well-suited for the antagonists as its clarity added an edge to it.
Sleek horses run fast’s voice quality was more suited for the protagonists, confident and easy—just as his name, it evoked a sense of chivalry and gentleness.
It’s just, it seemed like their personalities were swapped…
“Sleek Horse-sama…” Qi Jing furrowed his brow as he tried to speak as tactfully as possible—after all, it was his senior, “Why did you choose to go for the cute route with your speaking style…”
For such a noble and imposing gong voice VA to give off this kind of silly and bubbly feeling in private… It couldn’t get any more incongruous.
“I know what you’re talking about,” The person himself seemed to have already gotten used to being questioned like that, and said while giggling, “That’s why each and every one of the fans and staff members that contacted me in private got disillusioned in the end.”
—Can I say that I got disillusioned as well…
“All of them said, ‘I always thought Sleek Horse-sama is the reliable, elite type—I didn’t expect you to be like this’.”
—Turns out your fans and I are in the same vein.
“But later they would say, ‘To be fair, this Sleek Horse-sama is also really moe’.”
—Ladies, wake up!
“Besides, don’t you think that I’m in fact very cute?”
When he asked that question, the man deliberately used his most mature, most manly total gong voice as he chuckled.
Qi Jing did his best to endure and finally managed to not spout that “Why would you give up on getting treatment” that was about to leave his lips.
“Before… I’ve been called ‘Little Sleek Horse” and stuff like that for the longest time. I always hoped that this OG “Big Sleek Horse” would be at least a bit reliable.”
If he had known this was how this guy carried himself any earlier, he would surely vomit blood in a corner.
“How am I unreliable?” Hearing his words, Sleek horses run fast immediately changed his tone to that of a poor little wronged wife, but Qi Jing just knew that he surely had a smile plastered on his face—And that’s precisely what’s unreliable!
Qi Jing sighed, then murmured, “People outside all say how our voices are similar, to the point where there are people who would think of you when listening to me speaking…”
Saying this, he froze, jerking his head up as if he suddenly remembered something.
“You… Do you perhaps know a voice actor called Crossing the bridge noodles?”
Sleek horses run fast stopped for a moment, seemingly stumped by his question; but after a while, he resumed that merry bearing of his as he said calmly, “Why would you ask this?”
The deceiving nature of a voice is real… Yeah.
Writing this chapter was really fun… Yeah.
PS: I heard that yesterday’s november 8th was “journalists’ day”, fortunately enough it’s still 8th for the time-diff gang, so I thereby wish our fellow Qi Jing happy journalists day~ ^ ^
(Dr Shen, please don’t carelessly offer yourself, pffthaha)
Lucilla: Sleek Horse, you’re being so gay in more than one meaning of that word… Tsk tsk tsk, you’re getting your junior so disillusioned!
We missed the november 8th by a bit, but still, happy journalists day to our Big Return Date! And this day also marks the half of our way through translating the project~ Thank you so much for reading EROVA so far guys, it’s always so gratifying to read your comments <3 (Yes, I read each and every one of them, MWAHAHAHAHA)