Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor - Chapter 79[Updated at: 2021-12-13 15:21:11]
to be edited
Qi Jin had voice acted emperors before, and so has Bronze Sparrow Terrace.
But since their voice types were worlds apart, the roles Qi Jing would receive were those of flirty and passionate emperors, born with a silver spoon in their mouth, elegant and graceful, with most of the scripts following the “loved not the country, loving a beauty instead” route. Meanwhile, Bronze Sparrow Terrace would often play arrogant and imperious emperors who inspired awe of the world, united the nations, and were also able to keep their beloved securely in the palm of their hands along the way, quite a few of them being pretty obsessive lovers.
But “Emperor Chang” from ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ was unlike any emperor the two of them played before.
He was a failure of a ruler; despite being in a prime age, the overdose of immortality pills made him a gloomy wreck of a ruler with constant mood swings, listening to the ill-intended confidants and sowing death among his subjects of high character. He was the main villain of the original novel—the “Heaven” to be ended by the ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫.
Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s fans were a bit disappointed by the fact that their idol wanted to compete for the villain role, but once they recalled that this audition was just a warm-up for their god, they quickly cheered up again.
What’s more, the villain role like “Emperor Chang” was far from being as appealing as the protagonist character like “Marquess Shunyang” or the male lead “Qin Tuo”. According to the competition rules, if a contestant managed to advance with all three of the characters they’ve competed for, they would have to forfeit one of them, so if one had to make this kind of sacrifice, the villain role would be the first one to go.
Da Qiao and Xiao Qiao guided a vigorous publicity campaign these few days, spreading the news that Bronze Sparrow Terrace would take part in both of the auditions today, inviting the fans to come and vote on him. The number of people in the official VIP group and five lower rank knock-off fan groups added up to maybe two, three thousands. What’s more, there was also a series of promoting activities on weibo, to the point where some of the Little Pinkies. CVs enamoured by Bronze Sparrow Terrace also encouraged their fans to go and vote. It could only be described with one word—impressive.
Under Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s influence, the number of online participants actually rose to eighteen thousands, shocking even the MC Yang Chunqu. The competition had yet to start, yet she was already sighing to herself, “The amount of people present at today’s competition… is really… amazing.”
Yang Chunqu was the representative of the competition organisers and didn’t know much about the online voice acting circle, so she couldn’t comprehend why the role of an incompetent and muddleheaded character such as “Emperor Chang” would bring in so many listeners.
But she understood the reason behind it soon enough.
Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s fans often listened to his karaoke on his YY channel and took part in the discussion sessions organised by Da Qiao and Xiao Qiao, so they knew YY like the back of their hands. Soon enough, they arrived at the official channel of the competition and piled together, commenting in the chat ecstatically.
When Qi Jing went into the channel room after logging in and took a glance at the chat, almost all of the comments were about some Bronze Sparrow Terrace-related topic; those few who weren’t would quickly get flooded.
Audience 1: (/≧▽≦/)(/≧▽≦/)(/≧▽≦/) Bronze Sparrow is finally about to start his first audition! I’m so excited, what to do! I’ve never entered other channels, always staying in our Bronze Sparrow’s nest… I’m so unused to the feeling of being outside, our home is still more comfy~
Audience 2: o(*≧▽≦)ツ It’s also my first time in the outside channel, but it doesn’t matter! I’m always by Bronze Sparrow-sama’s side!!
Audience 3: o(*≧▽≦)ツ I’m always by Bronze Sparrow-sama’s side!! +1
Audience 4: Last week I missed Bronze Sparrow’s karaoke meeting on YY *sob*… Did any of my sisters record it? Begging for shares! ╥﹏╥
Audience 5: Sister Da Qiao already sent the last week’s recording to the group email, it also got shared, so you can download it. If you’re not added to the group, then remind me after the competition ends, I’ll DM it to you, haha.
Audience 6: Does anyone know when is Bronze Sparrow’s birthday? I want to send him a scarf to warm him during winter days, tehe~ <(￣︶￣)>
This scene looks so familiar…He massaged his temple in silence.
It was about the same during the PIA for the first episode of ⟪Trap⟫, but at that time, it was in Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s private channel, so it was fine for them to have their way, but to act like that even now, during the open competition… It was a bit preposterous.
Crossing the Bridge Noodles also had quite a substantial amount of fans, but outside the first moments of the “Liu Suyu” audition, when some of them got a bit loud, they were pretty good at containing themselves during the rest of the competition—it was probably because they were usually managed well.
This kind of situation, where the fans turned in in full strength flood the chat with the comments about their contestant were pretty uncommon.
Thinking about this, Qi Jin suddenly remembered a certain person.
Went off with a bang.The fans of that overbearing “Uncle Bang” from the “Old Man Xiao Shan” audition Shen Yan took part in—his fans could be said to belong to the same ilk as Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s fans, maybe they were learning from each other or something.
“If those two were to appear together, then I don’t know how messy that scene would become…”
Just as Qi Jing had mumbled to himself so, his gaze suddenly wandered towards the contestants list on the official site, the sight making his lips twitch—he almost got choked on his own words.
No. 13: Went off with a bang
No. 16: Don’t ask for my return date
No. 25: Bronze Sparrow Terrace
Qi Jing immediately felt a strong need to change the place of his ID in the line-up.
He kinda had a premonition that&#k2026; The contestants between those two would be all drowned in both of their fans trash talking, ignored, and then trampled over mercilessly as the cannon fodder.
But the reality proved that half of his premonition was right and half was wrong.
He was right with the trash talking part.
But the wrong part was, the trash talking unfolded way before he had imagined. Once Went off with a bang lead his army of fans into the channel, both sides couldn’t reach the conclusion over the supremacy in the public chat. What’s more, this kind of back and forth dispute really looked as if someone was cursing out themselves, so the scene had quite a comedic value.
Audience 1: （︶︿︶）=凸 What’s up with those fans getting noisy in the chat, don’t you see that there are also other contestants present?? Do you really think you’re all at home here?? Sigh, shameless, so shameless~
Audience 2: … The commenter above, who are you, name your contestant! I want to see my Bronze Sparrow wipe the floor with your contestant!
Audience 3: If you say so, then I will, but I’m afraid you won’t succeed? Our family’s Went off with a bang is the last year’s runner-up, how about your guy? Did he take part in any competition? Did he get any place? Hehe, considering your ignorance, I will be lenient and let you off with a simple apology. ╮(╯▽╰)╭
Audience 4: Pfhahaha, WHAT?? A mere runner-up! Our Bronze Sparrow is a material for a champion, who would care about your runner-up?? It’d be better for you to not think too highly of yourselves, hope you won’t be too embarrassed when the scores comes out, hah ╮(╯▽╰)╭
Audience 5: o(≧o≦)o o(≧o≦)o o(≧o≦)o WENT OFF WITH A BANG!! WENT OFF WITH A BANG!! WENT OFF WITH A BANG!!
Audience 6: (*°▽°*)╭(*°▽°*)╭(*°▽°*)╭ COPPER SPARROW TERRACE!! COPPER SPARROW TERRACE!! COPPER SPARROW TERRACE!!
“Don’t ask for my return date, Don’t ask for my return date, Don’t ask for my return date!” Qi Jing cheered in a low voice, mimicking them before the screen—when he finished, he couldn’t keep himself from laughing. The cheek of those brainless fans were really something else, he couldn’t compare to them.
He shook his head while feeling relieved at the fact that he didn’t have this many fans and that they wouldn’t come in droves.
Just as he thought so, a string of words flickered on the constantly refreshing chat—it was no different from what he was chanting just now.
★Five★: ~\(≧▽≦)/~~\(≧▽≦)/~~\(≧▽≦)/~ DON’T ASK FOR MY RETURN DATE! DON’T ASK FOR MY RETURN DATE! DON’T ASK FOR MY RETURN DATE!
Although those words were quickly pushed away by Bronze Sparrow Terrace and Uncle Bang’s fans’ comments and only stayed on the screen for mere two seconds, Qi Jing still got absolutely choked by their sight.
“What is that guy doing…” He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry—it seemed like Sleek horses run fast was there today as well.
If the people from the online voice acting circle knew that this legendary great god was in the middle of playing a fanatical fan cheering him on, their jaws would certainly drop to the floor.
But objectively speaking, Went off with a bang’s foundation wasn’t half bad, and Bronze Sparrow Terrace’s voice was superior to his, so it was hard to say what would be conclusion to today’s competition. As long as there was no major tampering behind the scene, he should be able to achieve something. What’s more, it was hard to say if some unexpectedly amazing contestant would appear… Going for the first place sounded unrealistic, so as long as he could win against Bronze Sparrow Terrace, he would be content.
“Good evening to all of our listeners, it’s currently five past six of the Beijing time; we had a minor technical problem, so the competition starts five minutes late, we’re sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for coming to the seventh round of semi-finals of ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ competition!”
Yang Chunqu’s voice interrupted his thinking, cutting short the trash talking in the public chat as well.
“This round, the role the contestant will compete for is “Emperor Chang”. Contestants are asked to remember about changing their nicknames to the one you registered with, so that you can be given access to the voice chat according to your place when the time comes.”
Qi Jing was already familiar with this course of action, so he got everything ready when the fans were still arguing.
What he was concerned about were the lines chosen by the organizers that were to be published after Yang Chunqu announced the rules.
He was in the middle of waiting patiently, when suddenly someone sent him a private message in the channel.
He lowered his head to look—it turned out to be “Five”.
【★Five★】said to 【You】: ╰(*°▽°*)╯Congrats, congrats, the rumours about you seem to have already disappeared~
【You】said to 【★Five★】: Indeed… Everyone says that I got my face slapped by you… ￢_￢
【★Five★】said to 【You】: Huhu, it’s fine~ Just take it as a joke~
【You】said to 【★Five★】: … ￢_￢
【★Five★】said to 【You】: Fiiiine, I just came to tell you that there shouldn’t be any big movements during today’s audition, and even if there are any, then it wouldn’t be anything major, so you can be at ease. Good luck~ (づ￣ 3￣)づ
“Oh…?” Qi Jing lifted a brow in surprise.
Although he didn’t know why Sleek horses run fast would say that, since he was a veteran of their circle, then he certainly had his connections—maybe he had contacted Northwest Road in private? Either way, he could stop worrying about the scores as much.
After he left the private messages box, Yang Chunqu had just let the organizers publicize the lines for three scenes for this round.
Qi Jing took a look at the lines.
Those lines weren’t half bad—there were both tense and more calm scenes, all of them worth listening to.
The more peaceful lines were for the scene of “Emperor Chang”’s dialogue with a minister in the morning court; the more dramatic ones included two scenes during the flare up of emperor’s drug addiction—one of them was of him with his beloved “concubine Shu” in the harem and another was a scene with the main protagonist “Qin Tuo”.
The change in the mood between the scenes was too big which demanded a higher level of voice acting skills—and that was what he wished for.
The higher the threshold, the more opportunities there would be to stand out from other contestants.
“Then, the competition will officially start… I will ask the contestant…” Yang Chunqu only said half a sentence before stopping, as if he received some message. After stopping for a moment, she finally found words to explain the situation to the audience, “Ah, just now I got a message from the organizers asking me to make an announcement first.”
This so-called “message from the organizers” instantly started a hubbub.
Probably having learned after the happenings during the “Bai Ke” audition, the audience was collectively worried whether the official side won’t pull off another dubious move.
But then, they heard Yang Chunqu say, “Today, the organizers had received complaints from the listeners saying that the judgment of the scores is biased and that there’s too big of a disparity between the scores given by the judges. So the competition officials had stated that the scores presented by each judge is their personal opinion and is unrelated to the standing of the official side. But if an extraordinary situation was to occur, the organizers would keep the right to make the final decision about the candidates.
Qi Jing was taken by surprise.
Really, a standard excuse of all commercial companies…
What was an “extraordinary situation”? When could the right to “make the final decision about the candidates” be used? With the conditions left undefined, the organizers could in fact say anything and it would still make sense, so in the end, they still held the upper hand.
Still, this kind of intervention from the organizers didn’t necessarily mean anything bad… If the “intentional suppressing of the scores” or “intentional boosting of the scores” could be regarded as an extraordinary situation, then the consumers—that is, the listeners—could use that pledge made by the organizers to raise objections and put an end to the score bias.
Funnily enough, this “message from the organizers” quickly became an excuse for the fans to attack each other.
Audience 1: ╮(╯▽╰)╭ The organizers have the final say, so that great who-was-it of yours better not try any tricks~
Audience 2: ╮(╯▽╰)╭ That’s exactly what we wanted to say, ok? If I remember correctly, that Uncle Bang got second place in the last competition only thanks to the score bias?
Audience 3: Lies!! The judge from last season clearly had vendetta against our poor Bangbang, which prevented him from getting first place! To have the ignorants like you criticize him now, it really drives me crazy!! （╯‵□′）╯︵┴─┴
Audience 4: Good luck Bronze Sparrow! Don’t let those ignorants look down on you! °.°(((p(≧□≦)q)))°.°
Audience 5: That’s right, Bronze Sparrow-sama, you don’t have to lower yourself to their level, you will get that first place for sure! °.°(((p(≧□≦)q)))°.°
Audience 6: Huhuh, those into BL voice acting really are all conceited, that whole thing of man screwing another man should better be kept under a rug. I used to admire him when he was still voice acting in romance audio dramas, but it seems that since BL is more popular, the man himself thinks nothing of his dignity, ptui! The company should reconsider if they really want to use someone like that~
When Qi Jing saw the last comment, a certain detail suddenly appeared in his head.
He quickly opened the browser and searched the voice acting club “Went off with a bang” was in. As expected, that club was a famous anti-BL group in the online voice acting circle—the members of this club would only take on the BG works, or those no-CP dramas targeted at the wider audience. Very rarely, someone from the club would take on one or two BL dramas, but those cases were getting fewer and fewer.
Qi Jing found the list of members of this club and looked through the ID list, then he suddenly locked onto two words, “Northwest Road”.
His position wasn’t low, he had once held the position of president of the club for a period of time.
And Went off with a bang himself was also a backbone of the club, so with the two of them coming from the same organization, their way of thinking shouldn’t be much different.
“Hahahaha,” Qi Jing once again connected it with what Jade Butterfly had said before, his mind suddenly clear, and laughed for a moment in a loud voice, “I get it now, I get it.”
No wonder Northwest Road would make things hard for “Kitty の Papa” out of nowhere, it was probably because of how the episode with the “flatmate” caused the audience to let their minds wander in an ambiguous direction, which happened to trigger that guy.
“So it turns out I’m the indirect cause here…” Qi Jing laughed downheartedly, a bit ashamed to face Shen Yan.
But he wasn’t at all ashamed of being a BL voice actor, and even less ashamed of being gay.
“Bronze Sparrow Terrace-sama, turns out there is a time where we’re on the same boat.”
He tapped his fingers on the desk with glee, unable to keep himself from looking forward to see what would Northwest Road choose between his so-called normal “integrity” and the deal he had with Jade Butterfly, and what score would he give to Bronze Sparrow Terrace. After all, not only did Bronze Sparrow Terrace dabble in BL audio dramas, he also had quite a few scandals with men in the circle, including Crossing the bridge noodles and himself.
Northwest Road didn’t issue any direct statement, but Went off with a bang’s statement before his performance was basically a tldr of their club’s mission.
“During the last round of auditions, Teacher Pu had said that ‘justice will always prevail’, and I believe that everyone knows what justice and integrity is referring to. ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ is a product targeted at the normal audience, so the voice acting cast should also be made of people with moral integrity, the kind that won’t get earn the consumers’ contempt. This I, Went of with a bang, can guarantee! Everyone, please grant me your support!”
He spoke here about Teacher Pu, there about integrity, his words both self-righteous and self-assured.
Meanwhile, Qi Jing could only facepalm in silence.
It seemed that the saying that fans were birds of the same feather as their idols was not completely unfounded—at least when it comes to the audacity and shamelessness, this bunch would provide good evidence for research.
Despite the beef between them of Pu Yuzhi giving him a score of 1, he acted so unbothered and gracious, to the point he could be said to have stayed properly respectful, quoting her words even in the completely unrelated moment… Could he get any more obvious with the boot-licking?
Fortunately there weren’t many roast-worthy points in Uncle Bang’s voice acting, as he still had some skill.
“We really don’t understand. The country prospers, the people live in peace and favourable weather brings bountiful crops—why are there still rebels causing trouble? Is it to inconvenience Us, or to inconvenience the people of this land?”
The start of Uncle Bang’s performance always made everyone’s eyes light up, mainly because he had a very good grasp on the sense of age. To be fair, his original voice was best suited for the roles of males in their thirties. What’s more, the bass of his voice was his strength, making the domineering aura of an emperor really stand out; that one question was delivered very impressively.
The prompt for the background provided in this scene was “discussion during the morning court”, so it was easy to think of the grand scenery, so common in the TV period dramas.
Uncle Bang was emphasizing his diction right now, his manner of speaking very upright, as if he was actually ordering the ministers around from the high-up the dragon throne, looking down on the land under Heavens.
Next, there was a prompt for the action: reading a memorial submitted to the emperor.
So, Uncle Bang said his lines as if he was reciting the document, “Just listen, all of you—’The government office of the provincial capital of Tongzhou had been burnt down by the rebels, causing over hundred casualties among soldiers; the government forces had retreated to the peripheral city of Rao. The provincial treasury had been robbed, the loss totaling in twelve thousand and seven hundred taels, and the grain reserves had been opened; ignorant village folk raided and looted the entirety of the reserves, leaving not a grain behind’—it’s clearly a rebellion, rebellion!”
Then, he laughed coldly.
“Marquess Shunyang, you shall take two hundred of soldiers and leave immediately to quell the rebellion in Tongzhou!” Once the imperial edict fell, his voice stopped, then he looked down on the minister below, asking, “You’re one of Our most trusted generals—you should be able to handle it well?”
He acted the scene out without a single hitch. Compared to the contestants before him, he had an upper hand.
Besides the fact that just as the rest of the contestants, he misread the “Yao” in Yao city as “Rao”, there was no blemish in his enunciation. It was about the same as many of those emperors in the works targeted at the wider audience; Uncle Bang probably played plenty of those normally, so he was rather adept at it—of course, his fans were also very excited about this.
Audience 1: o(*≧▽≦)ツ Good!! Just like this!! Bang Bang is super emperor-like!!
Audience 2: o(*≧▽≦)ツ He’s so good at those types of lines~ Nothing sounds out of place when he reads the lines stylized for the historical roles~
Audience 3: ╭(╯^╰)╮Hmph, Bronze Sparrow can also do this much, don’t get too excited too early!
Audience 4: ╮(╯▽╰)╭ No matter how good he is at voice acting, he already went for acting shows of a man screwing another man, there’s no way the company would want someone like that~
Audience 5: ╮(╯▽╰)╭ You’re saying this as if our Bangbang didn’t voice act a BL… I just went to search for a moment, and he did appear in a BL work, hah~ Slap yourself, just keep slapping yourself.
Audience 6: (picks nose) We will broaden y’all horizons in the next two scenes!
Indeed, the next two scenes were the highlight of the audition, with an intense conflict unfolding. Playing it well would make one stand out easily, but doing a bad job at voice acting could also easily ruin the whole effort.
Qi Jing had read the original novel and he already had a clear picture of how he wanted to go about it, but listening to Uncle Bang’s competition could also count as a means to distract his attention.
Three more people left.
Only three more people, and it will be my turn.
Qi Jing finally experienced the disparity between the mental toll on an observer and on a participant. At that time, the amount of sweat at the palm of his hands only increased as the contestants’ numbers approached “16” one after another, so distracting his attention was necessary.
A/N: Because our dear 2Yan’s voice sounds noble, he had been captured to voice act as an emperor more than once or twice, and alas, it was always as a gong… (pffthaha)
On the other hand, I feel like it would feel weird for Kitty’s Papa to voice an emperor… (*falls silent*)
PS: ╮(￣▽￣”)╭ Five’s been peddling his sense of presence quite a lot lately…