Chapter 1: Heartbeat

Sour Essence A: I heard that Atlas will unfriend Pomelo

Sour Essence B: Is that true? Didn’t they win the voice over competition together not that long ago? I thought they had a good relationship but, unexpectedly… ai [1]

Sour Essence A: No other way.
Men ma [2], they all like the good looking ones.
Atlas[9] choosing Xiao Qiao[10] is understandable.
I just pity our Pomelo, ai!

Toast, who was lurking[11] in the group, was angered half to death and immediately took a screenshot to send to Pomelo.

Toast: These two sour essences are so- …[12]Is the community comprised of just those two?

An Youxi didn’t care too much about those two people’s words.
In the past 8 year, there has never been any photograph of him, nor has he participated in any of the community activities either online or offline, but one day, who knows when, a rumour about him being ugly appeared.
When he was still in highschool, in order to protect privacy, posting his picture was impossible, and after he went to university, so much time had passed that he didn’t bother to explain.

In the last few years, online voice acting has become incredibly popular and many interesting Voice Over software appeared on the Internet.
Out of all of them, the “Meng[14] Voicecon”[15] app became the most popular.
An Youxi, a veteran VA[13] of 8 years, signed up for Meng Voicecon along with the rest of the community.

One of Meng Voicecon’s features was that users could choose to befriend and form CPs with other users, similar to how online marriages work in online games.
However, unlike online games where marriage was only allowed between men and women, the app allowed being gay and didn’t limit by gender, which makes it convenient for many people to attract fans by selling rot.[16]

Speaking of which, he and Atlas also seemed to have a lot of CP fans?

Had it not been for the voice over competition the website held some time ago where only CP pairs could participate, An Youxi would have never bound his account to a stranger on the internet.
This kind of thing was too ambiguous, it was completely impossible.

Sour Essence A: Whether it is true or false, why not just ask the concerned party directly? @Atlas I heard that you plan on forming a new CP soon, is it true?

Atlas: It’s true.
Since we’re on topic, let’s just directly resolve it.

Atlas: @Pomelo, you said it yourself: After the contest, if we can get along – great, if not – oh well[17].
If you agree, we can quietly have a good relationship beginning and a good breakup.
Otherwise too much noise would make both our faces look too unsightly.
I’m being considerate of you as well so I hope you aren’t too entangled.
This way is good for both of us.

An Youxi: “….” Eating your own melon results in suddenly being dragged out? Can that even be okay?

What sort of a top tier confidently average[18] man is speaking right now, ah! [3] The last time I was so speechless, was last time! [19]

Pomelo: [Can your plays be as small as your pp.jpg] [20]

Atlas: pp? Are you implicating me? If you don’t want to break up then just say that, why yinyang[21] me like this? Want money? Or else, what do you want? Except with myself, I can satisfy you with everything else.

Fuck! This man is really sick!

An Youxi was so disgusted he nearly suffocated and immediately went to Meng Voicecon to sever the CP relationship.
It’s unknown if Atlas was waiting in the background for the CP dissolution but, in the next moment, An Youxi received the system message notifying him that Atlas had established a new CP in the next second.

An Youxi: “….”

What the hell, he despised him that much?

It’s not enough to just die, Atlas once again urged him to forward the Weibo post into the group. 

An Youxi rolled his eyes and opened Weibo to have a look.
Sure enough, the “breakup” announcement had already been posted by Atlas.

Without even looking, he forwarded it directly and was then immediately bombarded by messages from Toast.

Toast: The development speed of this trash plot dazzles the eyes and entangles the flowers[22].
It’s only been a few days since you two got together and now you are breaking up?

Pomelo: Pay attention to your wording, I only have a simple cooperative relationship with him.
What congratulations, what applause, just break up again and again![23]

Toast: What?! You two are simply cooperating? I always thought you two were together ah! 

Pomelo: …

Pomelo: Don’t disgust me, thank you.
Moreover, hurry up and tell me everything you know.

Toast: In fact, it’s nothing complicated.
It’s just that Atlas has been chasing you for a long time, it can’t be that you didn’t know? Some time ago you two formed a CP, we all thought you two had developed fully but it turns out that’s not the case ???

Pomelo: It’s not !!!

An Youxi recalled that some time ago, when Atlas was originally talking to him in a very oily[24] way….was he chasing him?

It’s that terrifying ?!

Toast: What the hell! You, the concerned party, unexpectedly don’t even know? Atlas, for so many days, has been chasing total air? Hahahahaha

Pomelo: [wiping sweat] [wiping sweat] Please, let it go.
It simply sounds like a ghost story.

Toast: But seriously, Atlas really is very handsome ei [4].
Do you want to see his photo? The true little milk dog[25] type oh~ [5]

An Youxi’s second refusal: No, thank you.

Such an oily little milk dog, I really don’t want it = =

Toast: By the way, a few days ago Atlas was asking to see your photos.
You yourself know that we haven’t seen what you look like for so many years, how can there be any photos? So Atlas might have some bad guesses.
It just so happens that the newcomer named Xiao Qiao is being promoted by Meng Voicecon, has attracted a lot of face powder.
They probably found each other to their liking ba [6]

An Youxi understood.
This one has turned out to be rejected by the ugly.

From senior kindergarten to now, An Youxi has won 18 consecutive school grass[26] titles and, so, has never been disliked for his appearance.
Well, it’s quite tricky.

After exiting the chat with Toast, An Youxi replied one by one to all enquiries of various friends, emphasising he had nothing to do with Atlas.
No matter how clearly he explained it to his good friends, netizens did not believe it at all.
Even the Weibo he had forwarded without a word, had been taken as perfect proof that he was “heartbroken”

[Taro Ball Bubble Tea] Pomelo is really disliked ba, the competition just ended and he has already been unfriended.
It’s so pitiful to see, I can’t even speak a word.

[Deep Neon][27] Can’t be helped.
Atlas is the Tall Rich Handsome type ah! Just looking at the face, you can tell Xiao Qiao is a much better match.
After all Pomelo….
But the tacit understanding of the circle is to only look at the voice, not the face

[Butterfly of Wuhu] I heard Atlas has just turned 18 this year and has been accepted into one of the top 2 universities.
Pomelo has been in the circle for 8 years so he should be in his 20s.
The steadiness and comfortability of a younger gong[28] and such a high quality little milk dog at that, Pomelo must feel reluctant to miss it ba.

An Youxi patiently explained with a few words but the fans only regard it as him comforting himself…It even got to the point where Atlas himself ran over to to the forwarded Weibo post to say some specious words: I never thought that you would actually treat me so…. ai, don’t say it, the affairs of the world are inconstant[29], ai…..

Seeing this, An Youxi really itched to rush into the phone and immediately fight Atlas!

Just then, the president of the photography club[30] suddenly sent a message.

Xia Qianqian: Bao[31]! Your school grass title of 18 consecutive years has been stolen this year by another man! 


An Youxi instantly set up from dying sickness[32].
Atlas who? All thoughts of him immediately flew away with the wind.

Xia Qianqian: This year, the management department has a new super handsome student! Photos and videos of him are all over the Forums, WeChat Moments and the Confession Board, all the senior sisters and brothers have nearly rolled away with their marbles[33]! The news went outside the circle and now exists on Baidu.

An Youxi: Is it so exaggerated = =

Moreover, the senior sisters are one thing, why are the senior brothers coming to join in on the fun ah!

Xia Qianqian: Aiya [7] you don’t visit the forum so of course you don’t know how popular he is!

Xia Qianqian: Although you both look good, you are very different types of good-looking! You are a proud little beauty with well-defined features, while the other party is like a handsome cheerful and sunny scholar full of the handsomeness of a heroic spirit![34]

Xia Qianqian: Nothing much to say, I’ll let you see it for yourself and you’ll know la![8]

Xia Qianqian: [Link to Forum]

Xia Qianqian: [Link to QQ Space Dynamics][35]

Xia Qianqian: [Link to Baidu Share]

An Youxi’s fingertips hovered over the link and circled it a couple of times before he retracted them.

An Youxi: No, I won’t look

He ran his tongue over his teeth and typed.

An Youxi: I have decided to meet this man who ended my 18 year school grass career tomorrow, in person.

Xia Qianqian: Aiya it just so happens that our department is planning to handle the military training for the freshmen.
Shibao Newspaper didn’t take photos so how about  you take some for me tomorrow ba!

An Youxi: …..using tricks like these, are you acting pretending to be a gangster ba![36]

Xia Qianqian: Hahaha if you can see through it then don’t expose it, just say whether you can do it or not ba!

An Youxi was about to answer with a “No” but then considered Xia Qianqian’s message—— With the camera acting as cover, peeping at the xiao gege[37] would be much more convenient oh~

An Youxi silently deleted his message and retyped his response.

An Youxi: Deal!




Recently it had been dry and windless, the sun was scorching hot as it came down onto them to burn the ground, powerful enough to decimate people’s military formations[38].
Even their heads seemed to be smoking.

When the “Rest” command was heard, the sudden wailing of ghosts and wolves appeared all around.

Ran Ningmu panted heavily, unscrewed the cap of the water bottle and took a few sips, making his Adam’s apple roll, before picking up his sweat-drenched collar and fanning.
Sweat slid down his neck along the smooth jaw line and into his clavicle, as the sunlight shined onto his raised arm, causing several smooth lines to bulge out on the muscles there.

Every move is filled with the youthful spirit of a youth at the beginning of the academic year.

A classmate nearby was wiping at his own sweat while looking around when suddenly his eyes lit up.
He nudged Ran Ningmu with his elbow and pursed his lips to signal at him to look in the opposite direction.

“School grass, look,” he said with an obscene smile.
“A girl over there is peeping at you ei!”

He deliberately raised his voice as he spoke and did not mean to conceal it at all.
At once, all the nearby boys in the area around him turned to look at the girl. 

Ran Ningmu caught a glimpse of the girl’s red face, frowned, and responded irritably “En”.

The boy’s eyes trailed the girl’s chest and shook his head regretfully: “The girl’s looks are okay but her figure is completely unmentionable.”

The girl’s face paled instantly before she lowered her head, looking like she was about to cry. 

Ran Ningmu’s fingertips gripped the water bottle for a while.
Talking about girls like that….It’s excessive.

The boy didn’t seem to notice, his eyes glued to the slender waists of the girls around him, highlighted by the belts they were wearing, and tsked: “This year there are quite a lot of beautiful girls in our class, so lucky! How about it, school grass? Is there anyone you like?”


“That can’t be ba, you don’t like any of them? Your eyes are looking too high ba, but it’s also true that with a face like yours, just with the wave of one hand, there will be a lot of high quality girls who will take the bait by themselves hahaha…..”

Ran Ningmu suddenly raised his arm, hooked his hand in the standard shooting posture, and threw the empty water bottle precisely into the trash can not far away.

Bang! The boy’s obscene words were interrupted.

Ran Ningmu turned to look at him, the corners of his mouth curved, and his white teeth were bared by his grin: “Why are you so concerned with my marriage prospects ah? What, you want to be my mother ah?”

The boy’s face complexion changed: “You…what did you say?”

Ran Ningmu scrutinised the boy with the eyes of somebody who was picking out pork at the vegetable market and nitpicked: “My apologies ah, I don’t want a guy for a mother, especially one with such a dreadful appearance.”


Laughter erupted all around.
The boy’s face suddenly turned blue and then white, and he wanted to rush up to Ran Ningmu with his fist.

Ran Ningmu’s eyes suddenly darkened.
He slowly straightened his back and deliberately moved his neck and fingers, making them click in a way that made one’s hair straighten from fright.

“What,” he sneered, “want to fight?”

The boy looked up at Ran Ningmu’s eyes and instantly froze in place.
With Ran Ningmu’s height of nearly 190cm, the boy standing in front of him was like a thin and weak little chick.

How to even fight this? The other party can pick him up like a discus with one arm and fling him directly into the sun ba?!

The girls were already quietly giggling and snickering behind their hands. 

The boy’s face instantly turned as dark as coal but then he caught a glimpse of Ran Ningmu’s strong chest and firm arms and suddenly his arrogance could not be afforded to ignite.

Ran Ningmu instantly moved away from him and walked up to the girl before scratching at his head and softly speaking: “I’m sorry ah, you heard such nonsense just now so you shouldn’t take it to heart.”

“Pfft” the girl pursed her lips as she laughed before lifting her eyes to thank him sincerely: “Thank you”

“There’s no need for thanks.
It was originally my pot so don’t mind it too much.” Ran Ningmu waved his hand indifferently and turned to leave.

The girl stared at his back for a few seconds, turned her head and whispered excitedly with her companion: “I never expected that Ran Ningmu would have such a milky appearance but his real temperament is unexpectedly so wild!”

“Exactly, exactly ah, so handsome oh,he had such a little wolf dog feel just now, he he….”[39]

Ran Ningmu returned to his position and stood still, the originally not so good mood was made even more depressing by that obscene boy from before.
The moral degeneration of the world is getting worse day by day, public morality is not what it used to be and confidently average greasy stinking[40] men are becoming more and more common.
If only there were refreshing and cool boys to wash the eyes with….

Just then, Ran Ningmu inadvertently raised his eyes and saw a young man in a white shirt walking slowly.
In summer, the sun is very strong, burning the skin like a flame and inevitably invites people’s annoyance.
However, the arrival of the youth on the other side was like a gust of wind which suddenly completely dispersed the hot vapour enveloping people’s mouth and nose, making one feel refreshed and in a good mood.

The youth was elegant and tall and had the temperament of an outstanding elegant and beautiful person[41] as he walked quietly down the forest path surrounded by wutong trees[42].
The sunlight shone down on him through the leaves, casting bright spots and shadows all over his face, and, from that distance, Ran Ningmu could only catch a glimpse of his fair skin, as beautiful as a painting.

‘R-refreshing and cool boy?’ Ran Ningmu immediately became crazy.

On the other side, An Youxi walked slowly into the shade of a wutong tree, and, without being aware that he was being observed by a certain large dog,  took out the camera and held it in front of himself. ‘Hmph, let me see which great general dared to snatch away my school grass throne….‘

In the camera shot, the boy in the camouflage military training uniform stood tall and straight, with wide shoulders and long legs.
The eyebrows are thick and black like a knife, the folds of the double eyelids are as beautiful as if they were drawn with a pen, and the dense eyelashes are delicate and clearly defined under the high-definition lens and the warm sunlight Under the lens, the pair of eyes were black and illuminated as they looked at him intently, completely absorbed.
The eyes were clear and bright, like gentle lake water, and there seemed to be some delicate and sensitive thoughts in them that could not be clearly explained.
Such a clean and innocent appearance, like a little milk dog seeing his owner for the first time???

An Youxi’s fingertips shook and he pressed down on the shutter almost reflexively.
There was a soft noise.
Ran Ningmu’s bright starry eyes bathing in the sunlight were captured by the camera.
And his eyes were full of An Youxi’s reflection.

It was the moment of heartbeat. [43]

An Youxi was slightly stunned, looked up suddenly, and then fell into the other party’s black eyes which were full of brilliance.

At the same time, Ran Ningmu looked at the beautiful face of the young man in white, and his thoughts fell into a brief daze.

And in their minds, tacitly appeared a thought that went against all the heavenly laws of morality and filial love, but was just as pleasurable and appealing, it was the wonderful philosophical thought of the great harmony of life——

Ran Ningmu: “Cute, I want to fuck him.”

An Youxi: “Cute, I want to be fucked by him.”

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Ai – interjection, sighing, expressing disappointment (like ‘alas’) back Ma – expresses sth is obvious and gives advice or expresses hope back Ah – used to enhance the tone/feeling, draw attention to a word or soften the feeling/suggestion back Ei – expletive of surprise back Oh – expresses affirmation, speechlessness, or sarcasm.
Baidu defines it as particularly emotionless and similar to a sneer similar to a sneer back Ba – suggestion, asks for agreement or confirmation back Aiya – used to express dismay, exasperation, or surprise back La – indicates excitement/doubt.
Also quite cutesy back His name is actually Qingtian 擎天 which literally means to be powerful, strong and great, capable to hold up the sky.
Amusingly it is also the part of the name for the transformer Optimus Prime (擎天柱).
Since this is his online nickname, I decided to call him Atlas (who is the titan holding up the sky in Greek mythology) because calling him Optimus sounds very strange. back Xiao Qiao – cannot tell whether this is his full in-game name or just a nickname but the name is 小乔 where 小 is ‘little’ and often used as endearment, and 乔 means tall or towering when describing trees but can also be used to mean evil, strange, bad, impersonation or deceit.
I have left it as Xiao Qiao because the meaning is too loaded and appropriate (well except the tall part maybe lol) back 社团群里潜水 (lit.
diving)  refers to sitting in a group chat and reading the messages (and grabbing WeChat red packets) but never saying anything.
In English this is called lurking. back 简直了 – an expression where you dont know what to say, used to express inexplicable overabundant feeling (frustration, surprise, amazement, thinking sb is stupid etc etc) back VA stands for voice actor.
CN text keeps calling this CV and I have no idea what it stands for but VA is a genuine term/abbreviation in English back 萌 – pronounced ‘meng’ in chinese and ‘moe’ in japanese.
It’s a very specific meaning of ‘ cute’ in the sense it expresses affection.
For more info, lookup 萌 or the term moe back Voice con – the ‘con’ part is a loan word from Japanese short for ‘complex’ meaning the person likes sth very much to a ridiculous degree.
In this case the name of the app has double meaning since 声控 means both ‘voice control / sound activation’ and ‘voicecon’. back Selling rot – gay baiting, engaging in homosexual innuendos for the entertainment of the public.
Gay fanservice. back if we can get along – great, if not – oh well (比赛完了能处就处,不能处就算了) another translator helped with this. back 普信男 – (according to Baidu) refers to men who are mediocre in appearance, income, speech, and literacy, but who have unrealistically high judgments about themselves, have particularly high requirements for their potential partners, and are fascinated and confident, often criticising the other’s shortcomings to show their superiority.
I translated it as ‘confidently average’ because calling him an incel feels too western of a term back 上次这么无语还是上次 – an online meme/slang derived from nonsense literature.
It means you are so speechless that you’re speechless about how speechless you are.back Original actually says [Can your plays be as small as your chirps.jpg] but given An Youxi’s character (and the lack of meme about chirps) I’ve chosen to translate chirps as pp since chirp (唧) and chicken (鸡) are homonyms 鸡鸡 is a childish way of saying penis.
The original meme seems to be referring to Pay2Win players in online games (Can your plays be as little as your money).
Example of the meme given at the end of the list below back Yin Yang – online slang with a similar meaning to ‘subtweeting’.
Aka speaking about somebody in an indirect way so as to look down on them and make them feel patronised. back 眼花缭乱 – an idiom which means that the eyes are confused from seeing something complicated.
Idk how to translate the punchiness of the idiom so I just made something up from most of the singular meaning of the characters. back 什么叫好了又掰了 – no clue what that means here, so I just did my best to translate it based on the assumption that MC feels aggrieved over winning the contest and immediately getting his CP broken up. back 说话油 – normally of a guy: speaking in a way that is insincere or gives off a greasy feeling.
Dishonestly provoking good feelings or attempting to adjust the atmosphere.
Sleazy. back 小奶狗 refers to boys who are young, clingy, cute and sunny back School grass is the most handsome boy in the school/faculty back 霓虹深处 is the CN name, apparently it’s the name of a song back 妥妥的年下 where 妥妥 is is ‘steadily’ or ‘comfortably’ and 年下 is slang for younger gong.
Another translator helped with this one. back 世事无常 – a saying with two meanings: 1.
people in the world are impermanent, which means that people are unpredictable, 2.
things in the world are impermanent.
Mao Zedong spoke about the meanings so if you are interested you can baidu it back 新闻部部长 – means the head of the information ministry so I think they are referring to the president of some society and given Xia Qianqian’s position in the photography club… back Bao means treasure and normally I would translate this but I will need for people to recognise it later in baobei and baobao so I am leaving it as it is back 垂死病中惊坐起 a phrase which I translated literally as it was originated from a poem I haven’t read and could not find the translation of.
The poem’s name is 《闻乐天授江州司马》My understanding is that the phrase in the poem is used to express shock and sadness beyond words (likely mixed with the protagonist’s unwillingness to reconcile with the fact that he was dying from sickness and couldn’t do anything to help his demoted friend for whom he held deep affection) back 疯球了 – literally crazy ball.
Apparently Sichuan slang that means something is so crazy that the whole world has been driven fucking crazy.
Losing your marbles is a synonym for crazy in english so I tried to keep the ball/rolling meaning. back 英俊爽朗大帅 – I cried while looking up all the different handsome descriptors back QQ’s version of News/Moments back 好家伙,你就是在这等着我的吧 where 好家伙 means Goodfellas (or in this case, good fella).
Yes, the gangster movie about the mafia. back Little big brother (literal tl), used when addressing a boy when you don’t know if he is older or younger.
Respectful but can be flirty depending on tone back 一场军姿下来能把人给站废了 back 嘿嘿 – type of cunning laughter.
Funnily enough in the raws she actually says it 3 times, which would normally have the meaning of ‘sexual relationship between two people’ but I don’t think she means it that way so I have left it as he he instead of he he he because I think she means in the double meaning. back 臭男人 – smelly/stinking man is like a scum man but not like actual scum just kind of a jerk.
There is a whole song about it and the singer was inspired by the “Men aren’t bad, women don’t love” saying. back 隽秀 – it’s a specific style description back A type of ornamental tree, also known as Chinese parasol tree.
Its wood is used in the production of guqin guzheng (image available below) back Basically the moment of their heart going doki doki.
Also the reason behind the chapter name. back

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