Thanks Cloud88 for a coffee!
The process of getting to know a person was like playing with a jigsaw puzzle.
At the beginning, you only had small, scattered pieces that looked haphazard and enigmatic. However, as long as you patiently looked for clues and gave yourself enough time, you could connect them to form an unexpected picture.
Right now, he had already pieced together a few different parts of this picture.
But he wanted to see more; he wanted a more complete picture.
Raindrops from the evening rain lined up under the eaves, rolling off one by one in no particular order, like piano keys playing an unwritten song.
Fortunately, the final melody was still clear and pleasant, pitter-pattering on the windowsill.
It was a nice, peaceful atmosphere, perfect for chatting.
“Tell me something about yourself.” Qi Jing smiled faintly.
After interacting with Geese Fly North for so long, he gradually came to understand the other persons speaking habits. If he didnt say anything, the other party would keep silent. That man wouldnt hurry to break this comfortable silence. On the contrary, if he started a conversation, that man would certainly respond.
“What do you want to hear about” Geese Fly North didnt sound reluctant and his voice was steady. That kind of voice was perfect for telling children bedtime stories.
What do I want to hear about Can I say that I want to hear about everything
Qi Jing looked down at Little Return Date who was scratching his chest with its two paws, pondered for a moment, then chose a topic suitable for their current relationship, “Then... Tell me why you started voice acting.”
Geese Fly Norths breath ceased for a while.
Soft rustling sounds made by adjusting a microphone could be heard from the headphones. By this point, Qi Jing had already recognized this pattern. It was Geese Fly Norths habit to do that whenever he was hesitant.
Could it actually be an uncomfortable question Qi Jing sensed that something was wrong and intended to quickly change the topic.
But at that moment Geese Fly North opened his mouth, although his voice was very soft, “In the past I... I suffered from a severe speech disorder thats calledselective mutism to be precise.”
Qi Jing was dumbfounded. He immediately blurted out an apology, “Im sorry, I...”
But Geese Fly North gently stopped him from speaking any further, his voice seemed very calm, “Dont worry, its already in the past.”
Selective mutism is a syndrome caused by psychological pressure and anxiety. It causes the inability to speak normally and usually acts up in specific situations, particularly in an unfamiliar environment. Even if the patients speech organs are not damaged and their IQ is normal, the patient will keep silent because of the psychological barriers impairing their ability to speak.
“When I was a kid, my environment... wasnt very good.”
That was Geese Fly Norths opening statement.
It took him a long time to continue speaking, but he didnt specifically explain the content of the first sentence. He only slowly related his experience of the illness itself, “It was always hard for me to deal with strangers and only after I went to junior highschool did they realise I had a speech disorder. I was too old by then and had already missed the best period for treatment. I could only slowly adjust it by myself.”
Qi Jing felt his breath stop for a while and dare not make a single sound as he listened quietly while cuddling the kitten. His sweaty hands held the kittens paws tightly.
“My doctor said that its difficult to get rid of this disorder after reaching adolescence, but its not impossible. He suggested that I try desensitization therapy first and communicate with people indirectly— through emails, voice chatting, and so on—in the hope I could gradually get used to it. ”
“So... you started voice acting online” Qi Jing suddenly understood.
“I hadnt at that time.” Geese Fly North laughed lightly, “The internet wasnt as convenient as it is now at the time. But I had stage performances in my school from time to time. Because of a certain accident, I was pulled in to make up for the numbers; that was when I realised that symptoms of my disorder would alleviate whenever I immersed myself in a role. Perhaps it was because I was playing a different person and it made me feel more at ease. Later on, I would take part in similar activities a lot, but...”
After saying that, Geese Fly North stopped speaking for a while.
Qi Jing heard a subtle change in the rhythm of his breathing. Later, there was another rustling sound at the microphone.
“But at times, the matters in my lifek2026; didnt go so smoothly and at some point, they affected my treatment. The situation deteriorated to the point where my state was even worse than it was in the beginning.”
Geese Fly Norths emotions seemed to have infected Qi Jing. He felt his breath quicken with the other partys sinking voice. Only when the cat scratched his palm did he realise that his hands were completely drenched in cold sweat.
He couldnt bear to ask for details. He was afraid that it would evoke bad memories.
But he also couldnt help but want to hear what happened next.
“Then... what happened after that” Qi Jing cautiously gave that man a way out, so that he could skip over the hard to mention parts.
Geese Fly Norths silence lasted for a long time, then he finally continued.
“After that, when I got to university, even though there were similar club activities, I didnt participate in them because I couldnt overcome the negative emotions after my relapse; I didnt want to perform face-to-face. It was around that time when I got to know some online friends that were fond of voice acting. I discovered that I could still act in an indirect way, without having to meet anyone and thats how I got in touch with the online voice acting circle. At that time, this circle wasnt as focused around forums as it is now, most of the time it was just scattered exchanges. After joining the workforce, everyone had their own lives, so our contact was always intermittent and even voice acting was temporarily put off.”
So thats how it is. No wonder his acting doesnt sound amateurish, its quite solid and natural.
Qi Jing frowned slightly. He recalled what Puppet Show had told him in the past and asked suddenly, “I heard that you never accept main roles, is that true”
Geese Fly North responded lightly, “Yes.”
Qi Jing felt that with such talent, it would be a pity if that man only ever played as an extra, so he asked, “Why”
Geese Fly North seemed to sigh by the microphone, “Im... Im no good. I cant play the main role.”
Qi Jing very patiently tried to persuade him, “Why are you no good That time when I played against you, you were voicing a main character. It also shouldnt be a problem with your work hours, after all, the time we spent on the run-through that night was enough for you to record lines for the main character.”
Since he was willing to spend two hours on a run-through as a stand-in that wouldnt get any credit, why wasnt he able to play the actual main role
“Its not a problem if its just a run-through.” Geese Fly North replied in a low voice, “Its just that during the official recording.... I just cant.”
Qi Jing felt as if his mind suddenly cleared; he stared unblinkingly at the screen.
“Do you still...” have the possibility of another relapse
“I dont know.” Geese Fly North seemed to know what his unfinished words were.
Silence that was gradually taken over by the sound of rain pattering down outside the window.
Little Return Date was licking its fur in Qi Jings arms without any care in the world, completely unaware of the heavy atmosphere around them.
His chest seemed to be filled to the brim by something; it felt extremely stuffy. Qi Jing tried to start the conversation again quite a few times, but failed every time. He could only sit up straight and wait without uttering a word until the hardest period of the suffocating silence passed.
“Im sorry. My story might not be as... as beautiful as you have imagined it.” In the end, it was Geese Fly North who took the initiative to break the silence.
“No, everyone has some parts of their pasts they dont want to mention to other people.” Qi Jings voice was deep, as if it slowly reverberated from the depths of his chest, “So Im actually very glad... Very glad that you can tell me these things. Thank you.”
The fact that he shared this not-so-beautiful story was also a proof that Geese Fly North trusted him.
Qi Jing felt a little envious of Geese Fly North. He still couldnt do that himself, at least not yet.
Thats why he hoped he could use a different way to reciprocate that mans sincerity, “Although I dont know how to treat this disorder and how long it will take to recover, I believe theres a way.”
Geese Fly North didnt hurry to respond.
Qi Jing cheered himself up and laughed gently, “Take it slow, dont hurry. If youre saying that youre OK with run-throughs, then start from that until youre completely comfortable with it. Then, you can officially try acting out a script that catches your attention. “
Geese Fly North was about to say something, but stopped, “Im...”
Qi Jing decisively interjected to stop him from saying the wordsno good. “I believe that you will certainly be good.”
Once again silence fell upon them, but it wasnt that suffocating, stifling silence anymore.
“Im not only talking about the scripts. If you have someone in mind that you really want to act with... Who knows, maybe youll be able to overcome your psychological barriers towards playing a main character.” Qi Jing said.
Isnt that the exact description of the so-called co-stars effect, where ones acting has an impact on anothers.
“Why do you insist on making me play a main role” At this time, that man suddenly asked.
Qi Jing didnt see that question coming. He sat confused on his chair. He actually felt like copying the other partys habit and adjusting his microphone.
“I just feel that... It would be a pity to waste your talent.” These words were true. And his response only needed those honest words, the rest of what he wanted to say could be left unspoken.
“But I dont think its a pity.” It looked like Geese Fly North was harder to persuade than he imagined.
“If thats the case, then even if its just for the sake of rehearsing, from today on, can you help me going through a part of my script every day So I can improve my sense of acting” Qi Jing took a step back for the sake of advancing. At times like this, theyre competing to see who was more persistent. He deliberately asked in a pleading tone, hoping to slowly break the defensive wall before him.
As expected, GeeseFly North didnt respond for quite a while. Usually when this person didnt respond, his silence meant approval.
“My abilities are limited and I may not be of much help to you as youre very capable yourself—”
“I dont care. I even abandoned any form of shame when I used the name of aGrandpas Fan, so Grandpa, you cant refuse me.” Qi Jing didnt expect him to continue struggling, so he cut him short and gave him no room for any argument.
After a long time, he finally heard Geese Fly North sigh.
“Okay then,” There was a trace of helplessness in that mans voice, but Qi Jing seemed to hear him laugh lightly, “I hope that I can really be of some help to you.”
“Of course.” Overjoyed, he couldnt help but pick up Little Return Date and rub it with his chin for a while.
Little Return Date cocked its head, confused, and started a vigorous fight with the microphone. He didnt know if Geese Fly North had heard the rustle caused by the little guy grabbing it.
The source of this content is n0/v//el//bin[.//]net'
“In that case, do you have any scripts at the moment” To keep his promise, Geese Fly North decided to put his words into action once he agreed. His voice went back to its usual proper tone, to the point of sounding slightly restrained .
He thought back to when they played against each other for the first time. Before the official start of recording, Geese Fly North always kept silent and stayed low-key. Back then, when he didnt understand him as well, Qi Jing even mistook him for a distant person. But now that he knew that mans past, Qi Jing guessed it was probably just that he just wasnt completely at ease when he was dealing with strangers.
Even now, as they grew more familiar with each other, Geese Fly North would still be too reserved at times. Thats why it would be a good idea to lighten the mood a little.
Qi Jing pondered over it before he suddenly thought of an idea. Without batting an eyelid, he opened that thunderous script Ning Xiaoxiao had sent him before and copied a part of the lines from inside. He resisted the urge to laugh as he pasted it into QQs chat window and sent it.
“I have recently received this script.” With his utmost professionalism as a CV, he maintained a serious and solemn tone as he cleared his throat and said, “Ah, by the way, the producer lady wants me to voice the Gong, so Ill have to trouble Geese Fly North-sama to take care of the Shous lines.”
After saying that, Qi Jing covered the microphone with his hand before laughing to his hearts content in front of the computer for half a minute.
If the Gongs lines were a lightning strike of 0.1 megavolts, then the Shous lines would at least be 10 megavolts.
These lines would certainly help in easing the atmosphere.
As expected, he heard that person in his headphones sighing, “.... Youre making fun of me on purpose, arent you”
Qi Jing bursted out laughing. Little Return Date was spooked by his laughter and buried its head in the sling holding the cast on his left hand. It couldnt be helped though, he could even imagine the helpless expression that person made before the screen.
“Sorry, sorry,” Qi Jing apologised while laughing, his eyes narrowed to two crescent moons as he explained himself, “I wanted to let you relax a little, because you were so tense.”
He didnt expect that once he spoke, he would hear Geese Fly North delivering those lines with the true spirit of a professional voice actor. “I cant help but feel extremely shy when he stares like this at me.”
Qi Jing didnt expect that man would really read that aloud and couldnt control himself; he burst out laughing without any care about his image.
Then, that man abruptly switched his voice to the so-called upstanding fifty-year-old uncle that was often in high demand with the producers. Without breaking character and bursting into a laugh even a single time, Geese Fly North finished delivering the next line. “I didnt expect him to suddenly open his arms and embrace me like this. I struggled, but couldnt escape, shivering like a small rabbit in his embrace.”
The tone of his voice and the emotions were all on point.
“Aiyo!” This time, Qi Jing doubled over laughing; he was basically sprawled across the desk, his shoulders shaking like a sieve.
“Enough, I beg you, stop reading, my sides are hurting already.” The lines were already hilarious by themselves and when the other party used such a pure uncle voice to deliver them, Qi Jing was completely defenseless against this “attack” and laughed until he was out of breath.
It was as if Geese Fly North didnt hear his words as he calmly continued delivering next lines.
This time in his trademark old grandpa voice.
The immortal kind—
“What do I do, my whole body feels like on fire and it wont cool down. My god, it has to be the first symptom of falling in love.”
Qi Jing felt that his laughter was so loud that his next door neighbour was about to come knocking on his door. If it wasnt because his hand was still in a cast, he would probably fall from his chair on the floor and have the unknowing kitten watch him roll on the floor laughing.
Then the neighbour from below would also come knocking on his door.
“Hahahaha... Really! Dont read it, really dont read it anymore! I was wrong, I shouldnt have teased you, Grandpa, please have mercy! Ahahahaha...”
Just now, he was laughing so hard that tears started rolling from his eyes and his lungs couldnt keep up.
“Dont use this kind of script next time.” Finally, when Geese Fly North spoke up this time, it wasnt the lines anymore. His voice went back to his original tone.
Only when it was over did Qi Jing hear a soft chuckle from him. It was even softer than the warm light of the lamp on his desk.
It was just a simple phrase, but it held a kind of promise within. It made him look forward to it.
A/N: Comrade Qi Jing, you shouldnt look down on uncle Yans professionalism. (￣︶￣)
PS: To be fair, I have already thought through the “selective mutism” setting in advance, but the process of slowly overcoming it by the means of voice acting was just baseless writing of mine. Yet when I was consulting reference materials on the subject, I discovered that a famous actor Bruce Willis also had a speech disorder (although it was stuttering, not selective mutism), and his symptoms would also disappear when he was acting. Only then did I realise that my thoughts had some basis in real life.
T/N Can I just say that this was the first time I genuinly laughed reading this so-called comedy Author-sama! You promised us sweet, silly, and unrealistic gay, why do I keep feeling feels! QAQ
(still loving it xD)