thank you you you to Din for the coffee
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Are you ok
Unlike the usualAre you ok used to greet people, it contained a sense of concern.
It should have been strange for such an old friend like greeting to appear between them, but Qi Jing didnt find it off-putting.
Maybe it was because of the heart-wrenching memory from the accident, topped off with him being in low spirits lately, he actually felt warm inside seeing a relative stranger greeting him like this.
It was so warm that it thawed the frozen corners of his lips which unconsciously lifted upwards to reveal a faint smile.
“Im fine, thank you.”
He mumbled while typing strenuously with his finger, like a child learning how to type for the first time. Worried that his reply was too slow, Qi Jing hurriedly added at the end: Im sorry, but because of my hand its hard for me to type, please excuse me for my slow response.
Just as he was about to send it, he suddenly stopped himself and after some thought, he decided to add his trademark emoji.
Dont ask for my return date: Im fine, thank you. Im sorry, but because of my hand, its hard for me to type, so please excuse me for my slow response. ^_^
It took almost two minutes for Qi Jing to type those two sentences. Still, because of some mistakes, he had to go back from time to time to delete and rewrite some parts. Three minutes had passed when the message was finally sent.
The other person didnt respond for quite a while.
Qi Jing stared blankly at the chat window with only two sentences in it. His cursor flashed monotonously in the message box, as if it was measuring the time elapsed between each response. He heaved a long sigh and leaned back into his chair. It was hard to say whether he felt relaxed or sad. With his typing speed like this, it was unlikely that anyone would be in a mood to continue chatting.
Much less the Geese Fly North that Puppet had described as someone who never replied to QQ messages.
Just then, the window suddenly shook and its shape changed.
A new window opened up on the right, and a green, vibrating microphone appeared in the middle of it.
At the same time, a typical dial tone—like when one was making a call—could be heard.
Qi Jings eyes widened in shock, his first thought was that Geese Fly Norths account had been hacked.
No way, not only did he add me as a friend and initiate a conversation, but now he even sends me a voice chat request It had to be stolen.
Although he repeatedly told himself that the account was hacked, his palms still became all sweaty from the nervousness. He stood up and looked for the headphones in a hurry.
The sun had set outside, and the room was dimly lit with only a small desk lamp on. It took him a while to plug the audio jack in the right place, and even more effort to put the headphones on. After this struggle, he was ready.
The green microphone in the window kept vibrating and ringing patiently, and almost fifty seconds had passed by the time he answered the call.
“Hello” Qi Jings voice was a little breathy.
His headphones still werent properly put on, and were a little crooked. The microphone was too close, and his rapid breathing had probably peaked the microphone. Seeing that the green bar representing volume had maxed out, he quickly lowered his head to adjust it.
Qi Jings hand that was adjusting the microphone momentarily froze in place.
It turned out that Geese Fly Norths account hadnt been stolen, as the voice heard in his headphones was one he recognised.
Although they werent that well-acquainted r with each other, he had listened to that recording so many times that he was now very familiar with that voice. Deep, upright, with a sense of reassurance that made people hold their breath and listen to it quietly.
“Are you ok”
Hearing the same words said out loud, his ears covered by the headphones felt warm, as did his heart.
“Im fine, thank you.” Qi Jing also repeated his response. But once he spoke, the slight tremble in his voice caused by his emotions could no longer be hidden. He hoped that the other man didnt notice.
“You said that because of your hand its hard for you to type,” The man was silent for a moment before asking in a low voice, “Just what has happened to you”
“That...” Qi Jing laughed awkwardly and decided to downplay it. “Its a long story. The truth is, I had a car accident on the way back from a business trip some time ago. I was slightly injured and now its kind of inconvenient for me to use my left hand. Its not a big deal.”
This time the others silence was much longer and more pronounced.
Qi Jing didnt know what else to say, so he also fell silent, staring at the graphics flickering slightly at the bottom of the volume bar.
“What kind of injury” Geese Fly Norths voice seemed to be even lower than before.
“A normal bone fracture.”
Qi Jing didnt expect him to continue asking and was at a loss. He decided to give a vague answer to that question. In fact, he was not knowledgeable about fractures, but since the operation was successful, he regarded it as a minor injury.
“Do you remember the exact location of the fracture” Surprisingly enough, Geese Fly North continued with his questions.
Qi Jing had to rack his brain in search of the long list of medical terms the doctor had told him that day. It took a long time, but he finally named the location of the injury rather uncertainly.
“Urhm, I think its some... double fracture of ulna and radius. But I am not sure if these are the correct terms.”
After saying that he laughed awkwardly
However, Geese Fly North didnt laugh, instead, he just repeated after Qi Jing in a low voice: “Ulna and radius... double fracture.”
Qi Jing said in a hurry, “Its okay, the surgery went well. Ive been recovering well; theres a plate in my arm and my hand is in a cast. The doctor said that no displacement was found, so I could be discharged ahead of time. Sorry for the delay. I just got home today and was only able to get on QQ to accept your friend request now.”
He didnt know when Geese Fly North had sent out his friend request, but the pleasantries still had to be said.
All of sudden, Geese Fly North asked a seemingly random question. “Was that why you never replied”
Reply to what At that moment, Qi Jing didnt know how to react. He opened his mouth in a daze, unable to make head or tails out of this question.
Seemingly sensing his confusion, Geese Fly North took a breath behind the microphone, and paused for a moment before adding, “The post thread, I was talking about the post thread.”
So he was just talking about the post thread about the first episode of《Trap》. Qi Jing finally understood and laughed apologetically: “Thats because its hard to type for me, and besides, I havent read the post thread yet. I plan on slowly crafting a long reply when I have the time.”
At this point, Qi Jing faintly sensed that something was off about the way Geese Fly North phrased his words. If he knew he didnt reply to the post thread then he must have read it. His junior had said that she spoke up for him in the comments of the thread. Could it be that Geese Fly North didnt see the news of his accident
If he had already seen it, then why would he ask such an obvious question
Qi Jing somehow felt like he was asking about something else in the beginning, and not about the post but he didnt have any inkling as to what it might be.
Once again silence fell upon them.
However, it wasnt the awkward kind of silence; it felt natural and didnt make them feel pressured in any way.
It was similar to giving your good friend some time-out in the conversation. Something like taking a break or simply letting yourself enjoy their company, without any rush to conclude the conversation.
Sitting in the dim light of the desk lamp, Qi Jing even came to like these silent pauses, allowing the seconds to accumulate.
Compared with their first online conversation, this time, Geese Fly North had obviously spoken a lot more.
It was more than he could ever imagine.
“Speaking of the thread for《Trap》...“
After his initial nervousness had subsided, Qi Jing was able to start the topic more easily, even though it wasnt a particularly pleasant one.
“You... probably heard the official version of the first episode, right”
“Mhm.” Seems like Geese Fly North had already heard it.
“Im sorry, the official version that came out in the end... It was quite different.” It was a far cry from how they performed when they played against each other.
“Doesnt matter.” Contrary to his expectations, that man didnt seem to harbour any intention of berating him. Instead, his calm tone made Qi Jing feel even more remorseful.
“Im apologising because I feel like it was wasting two hours of your hard work. In the end, it couldnt be even—”
“Doesnt matter.” Suddenly Geese Fly North opened his mouth and gently stopped him from continuing. “I enjoyed playing against you that night. Youre a talented CV. You immerse yourself in the acting so deeply that it makes it easier for other people to immerse themself into the character too.”
Qi Jings eyelids trembled, and he kept his eyes on the three words on the screen, Geese Fly North.
Unfortunately, his left hand was in a cast and his ears were covered by headphones. Normally in such a situation, he would comb through his hair with his left hand to check the temperature of his ear.
He couldnt believe that he could receive this kind of recognition.
It was the first time he heard the other mans thoughts about that night, and that man even said he enjoyed it.
He said that my acting makes it easier for other people to immerse themself—then, is he included in these “other people”
Qi Jing always thought that he was the one who was drawn in. He was shocked by how close Geese Fly Norths interpretation was to the novel, and thrilled by the subtle details hidden in his voice. It let him perform at his full potential; he was able to respond to the character Geese Fly North portrayed with a performance befitting of it.
And right now, that man was telling him that it was mutual. It was so... hard to believe.
“Actually, thats exactly what I wanted to say.” Feeling grateful, Qi Jing couldnt help but smile, his eyes turning into a pair of crescent moons.
Frankly speaking, he felt that Geese Fly Norths acting sense was way better than his.
Getting praise from the CV he admired, Qi Jing felt a burst of warmth in his heart. All the sadness that was inside him turned into dust and disappeared with the wind.
Under these circumstances, he wanted to convey his thoughts clearly.
Qi Jing cleared his throat, straightened his back, and solemnly said:
“Geese Fly North-sama, the time we spent that day was too short and we said our good-byes too hastily so I didnt have a chance to tell you—I think it is you who is a really talented CV. I was deeply impressed with the rehearsal that night, and Ive always kept it in my mind. I had some difficulties during the official recording. The director pointed out my mistakes, and even though I understood them, I couldnt act on it. At that time... I would think back to how you performed those lines to slowly find the right feeling.”
Geese Fly North remained silent, listening quietly on the other end.
Qi Jing said it all in one breath, then his eyes dropped involuntarily, as if the others silence was putting pressure on him. Even though he knew he would be embarrassed to say such a thing directly to Geese Fly North, he insisted on saying it.
“Theres something I have to say, even if it might offend a lot of the people involved. In the official version thats out now, I think our two main characters are performed decently, but they dont feel like the original ones. It can even be said that it had completely diverged from the novel; it is a story with different characters but a similar setting. Contrary to that, I feel that the version we played against each other was better... Personally, I like it a lot.”
I really, honestly like it.
I like to the point I would go over it again and again, recalling that smooth tension of the dialogue and how it complemented and came together to form that scene.
“Actually, you werent bad in the other version,” Geese Fly North said gently in a deep voice, “I could hear that you were adjusting yourself to the other main character.”
Qi Jing was stunned. An unexplainable taste swelled in his throat, astringent but not bitter.
He was thankful, from the bottom of his heart. He couldnt help but express it once again. Maybe the feeling of being understood was too precious.
“Im the one that needs to say thanks.” There was a subtle gentleness in the Geese Fly Norths voice that quietly flowed into him. “Thank you for liking it.”
For a few short seconds, neither of them exchanged words, and just kept quiet.
But Qi Jing kept a peaceful smile on his mouth. He felt relieved, moved, and many, many more. There were so many more compliments that he hadnt said yet, but he suddenly felt they were unnecessary—he made his point clear, and now he had no regrets.
Then, he suddenly remembered something else.
It was how when he was re-recording, he inadvertently recalled Geese Fly Norths voice, but another person came to his mind.
“This might be an odd thing to say,” Qi Jing mumbled half-jokingly, “but your voice sometimes reminds me of someone I know offline.”
There was a tiny rustle in the headphones, as if the other man had fiddled with the microphone.
A short while later, he heard Geese Fly North ask softly: “That person... are they someone you hate”
Qi Jing was slightly stunned.
When he came back to his senses, he laughed very gently: “No, hes a... a very respectable person. How can I hate him”
Hate How could he possibly hate him...
Not only did he not feel any hate, but his feelings almost developed in a completely opposite direction.
It was fortunate that he stopped the development in time; otherwise, there wouldve been dire consequences.
“Rather than saying that I hate him, it would be more accurate to say that I hate myself.” Qi Jing forced a smile while heaving an inaudible sigh.
He didnt know why, but whenever he was feeling blue, he would have this urge to pour his heart out.
Perhaps, like many others, there were some things that he couldnt be frank about to close friends like Ning Xiaoxiao, but when met with people he had only gotten to know recently—like Geese Fly North—he was able to open up about it.
“Why” The man on the other end of the call asked.
“Because I feel sorry for disturbing his life.” Qi Jings voice became lower.
Why did he start this topic...
He clearly didnt want to think about it anymore.
The feeling of gloom slowly crept up to him and he regretted mentioning this topic. Just as he was about to hastily change the topic, Geese Fly North suddenly asked, “Am I... also being a bother to you right now”
After a short moment of being in a daze, Qi Jing hurried to tell him with a smile: “Youre not, youre not, I am happy that there is someone I can talk to.”
He paused, then repeated once again: “I would be also very happy to have more chances to play against you.”
Those words all came from the bottom of his heart.
He had originally planned to spend his time alone in this empty house, filling his spare time with voice acting and browsing the internet. But now, with the sudden appearance of such a person, who listened to what he had to say, he unexpectedly found himself at peace.
Even mentioning things, he didnt want to talk about wasnt as hard as he thought.
“Is this ok” Geese Fly North asked in a very soft voice.
“What” Qi Jing felt a little confused.
“Talking, playing against each other.” The other man repeated these two terms, before asking once again, “Is that ok”
Qi Jing suddenly realised that he wasnt referring to the sudden conversation they had today, but rather to a long-term agreement. Out of shock, his finger trembled, and he almost clicked the end call button by accident.
His throat felt painfully dry, unable to utter more than simple sounds. He had no idea how to answer that.
The other man kept silent, but Qi Jing knew he was waiting.
Did he hate it No, he didnt.
Was he puzzled He couldnt say he wasnt puzzled, but it wasnt caused by a sense of repulsion.
He was simply surprised at the sudden kindness, at a loss as to how to reciprocate it.
“Thank you... I would indeed be very happy if we did that” Qi Jing slowly sorted out his thoughts. He tried to make a relaxed smile, but he failed. His voice was full of restraint and rationality, “But—”
But there will come a day when youll start to think its a chore.
He concluded in his mind before the words could come out of his mouth.
Qi Jing smiled bitterly while shaking his head. He decided to politely decline this goodwill.
However, before he could actually say anything, that person had already responded, “Then Im okay with that.”
A/N: Grandpa is always willing to help... But unfortunately, the other person is one that never asks for any OTZ