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Prologue: I Prepared to Meet You Occasionally
Very late at night, there were still five minutes before the last subway left at exactly eleven o’clock.
It was quiet on the Line 2 platform in the Nanjing Subway, where a few people were standing around scattered, waiting for the last subway train.
Mo Lan lowered her head, as her fair hand continued to hold onto a straw. She was currently fiddling with the tapioca pearls in her cup of milk tea, though there weren’t many of them left.
Her close friend Rong Xiaxia, wearing a red down-filled garment beside her, was currently playing 2048 out of boredom, playing and playing. It was unknown if it was because she had suddenly thought of something, but she turned her head to look at Mo Lan, and she asked her a question with a voice that was neither too loud nor too soft: “Momo, what good songs have recently come out? Otherwise, material I can read before bed also works. These past few days at night, when I lie down on my bed, I feel particularly lonely, hollow, and cold……”
When Rong Xiaxia spoke, the hot breath she spit out condensed into a cloud of white smoke in the air, and then faintly dissipated again.
This year, Nanjing’s weather really was unusually cold.
The hand that was currently stirring a straw stopped for a moment. Mo Lan raised her head and quietly said: “Your problem probably means……that you should go look for a boyfriend.” Pausing for a moment, she was somewhat embarrassed as she also said: “Moreover, I don’t particularly listen to songs. I generally only listen to radio dramas.”
Rong Xiaxia looked embarrassed for a bit, and then slightly said somewhat gloomily: “That’s right, how could I have forgotten. You terminally suffer from being a voice enthusiast.”
Before she became familiar with Mo Lan, Rong Xiaxia had never really believed that this kind of person actually existed in this world. Usually, these kinds of people were already so attached to voices that they were beyond hope. Normally, they rarely listened to modern day songs and they always wore earphones, listening to some 2D radio drama on the Internet as they discussed how the timbre of a so-and-so CV in a radio drama was gorgeous and attractive.
Mo Lan gently smiled and had just thought of opening her mouth to say something, when she suddenly heard the beep that signaled the arrival of the train into the station, together with the sound of wind whistling past.
The wintry cold wind blew past, and her body couldn’t help but slightly curl up and shiver for a moment. She also couldn’t help but tightly grasp the cup of milk tea in her hand, wanting to absorb at least a hint of warmth.
She walked inside in tandem with Rong Xiaxia. Because it was currently already very late at night, the always overcrowded subway was, at this very moment, unexpectedly quiet in a way that was usually difficult to achieve. In the places that her eyes caught sight of, there was only a couple of currently very close lovers, two or three continuously chatting students, and also a man with a lowered head, seeming like he was sleeping at the moment.
Mo Lan and Rong Xiaxia were already used to standing in the subway, so they didn’t go fill those few empty seats.
With one hand grabbing onto the handrail, Mo Lan sucked in a tapioca pearl from inside her paper cup, and consumed it in small bites. After she raised her head, looking at Rong Xiaxia, she continued the previous topic that the two of them had raised: “But, if you want to listen to radio dramas, I actually have a lot that I can recommend to you.”
Hearing her talk like that, Rong Xiaxia who was standing face to face with her, had her expression crumple in a flash: “That’s enough. Every time we talk about this, you always just talk about that 2D male god. You might not be sick of talking about him, but I’m almost entirely fed up with hearing about him.”
With the corners of her mouth showing a gentle smile, Mo Lan lowered her head to nod. Not caring at all, she simultaneously continued to hold onto her straw to stir and shake the paper cup, while also replying with an indifferent appearance: “But, Secretly Captivated’s voice really is very pleasant to listen to. Just listening to his voice, you’ll feel like you’ve been bewitched, with no possible cure either.”
Rong Xiaxia heaved a sigh, looking at her somewhat helplessly: “But didn’t you say that he already hasn’t dubbed a voice for more than three years? It’s already been this long. He might’ve long forgotten about this Internet dubbing business and is actually just going about his real life. It’s only you pure-hearted girls who still passionately remember him.”
Silently eating up the very last tapioca pearl in the paper cup, Mo Lan simultaneously chewed while saying somewhat ambiguously: “Maybe. After all, he has always particularly hated other people digging up his 3D life. His voice is that pleasant to hear, but he has never entered commercial dubbing. I’ve always thought that dubbing might just be a hobby of his, and that in his 3D life, he should have a lot of matters that are all way more important than dubbing.”
Rong Xiaxia heard up to here and slightly wrinkled her brows, unable to help asking a little doubtfully: “What you said, in these three years……he really hasn’t appeared on the Internet at all?”
“That’s not it either.”
Swallowing that tapioca pearl, Mo Lan tilted her head as if pondering over it for a while and then quietly said: “He’ll also occasionally post on Weibo or Papa to prove that he’s still alive.” Pausing a bit, she showed a gentle smile again, “It’s a blessing for us whenever he posts on Papa. However, just listening to his previous radio dramas or voice recordings when you go to sleep every day is also a very happy thing. Xiaxia, although you guys might really be unable to understand, but for me, I really can fall in love with a person because of his voice.”
Done talking, she lowered her head to look at the empty milk tea cup in her hand, as hints of remaining warmth still lingered on the paper cup. And she quietly mumbled a sentence in a low voice, seemingly talking to herself: “Whatever he looks like, whatever family background he comes from, all of these things aren’t really important. To be able to capture your ears once he opens his mouth, penetrating your heart, only that is true unparalleled beauty……”
And if it’s regarding voices, Secretly Captivated undoubtedly already has the divine unparalleled greatness of a millennium of cultivation.
Rong Xiaxia looked at her with a kind of sympathetic “you’re already beyond redemption” expression and shook her head as she said: “I definitely don’t want to listen to that person’s radio drama, otherwise I’ll become as tempted by Mara as you are. I reckon that even in my dreams I’d look down on killing myself like that.”
Mo Lan pursed up her lips into a smile, indifferently shaking the paper cup in her hand, and didn’t reply.
With a “ding dong”, the subway reminded them that they had reached the Gulou Station. Since there were definitely not a lot of people, Mo Lan and Rong Xiaxia simply waited until after the subway completely stopped and stabilized before calmly walking out.
In the one second before she was about to walk out of the subway door, Mo Lan lowered her head to look at the gap underneath her feet, and out of the corner of her eye she carelessly happened to glance at that man wearing a navy blue down-coat who was previously sleeping with his head lowered from her peripheral vision. He rubbed his eyes and lazily stood up from his seat.
He had really woke up just in time.
Mo Lan discreetly smiled a bit to herself and then walked out of the subway, turning around and looking for a trash can to throw away the empty milk tea cup she held in her hand.
Rong Xiaxia, who was face to face with her, waved a hand in her direction: “Momo, don’t forget to bring two boxes of West Lake Longjing tea back for me when you go to Hangzhou the day after tomorrow.”
“Got it.” Mo Lan smiled gently, pulled the rice-white scarf around her neck upwards again, waved her hand in farewell, and then turned around to walk out of the subway station.
Mn, this year, Nanjing’s winter really was very cold.
Unable to help burrowing into her scarf, Mo Lan headed home with quick steps.
 2048 is a fun game that you can play online here: Link.
 A CV is a Character Voice, or a voice actor/actress.
 Weibo is a popular Chinese microblogging website, found here: Link.
 Papa is a Chinese website for the Chinese music circle, found here: Link.
 Mara is a demon who tempted Gautama Buddha. More information here: Link.