༺ Choosing a Song ༻
Why didn’t I think of that?
No other information was as simple as a birthday to identify someone.
I felt so stupid for focusing only on her favorite things.
No, wait, thinking back, it was absurd to ask the birthday of someone you had rejected.
I thought all I needed to do was to get the answer right, but then I got depressed when the answer actually came out.
Honestly, I felt like I was 90% right the moment I heard her singing on the Voicecord.
There was no way I didn’t recognize the voice that I listened to every day.
I wanted to test out the remaining 10% possibility of whether she was Luka or not, but the October 25th comment got rid of every doubt.
「My birthday? October 25th! Chat, mark Luka’s birthday on your calendar! Okay?」
As soon as I heard it, I wrote it down on my phone’s calendar. Never did I imagine it would come in handy one day.
Like a puzzle, I started to piece together Doah’s words after realizing her and Luka were the same person.
Like how she chose an article about the [Metaverse], which didn’t fit her image at all.
And how she missed the birthday party with the people who seemed to be her close friends.
Today, she was probably too busy to prepare for the audition.
Luka would often tease her viewers with her poor concept, but anyone who was a fan of her would know.
How serious she was about this audition, and how hard she worked to prepare for it.
Last week, she practiced singing until she strained her throat. It was so bad that she even took a short break. The next time she went live, her voice sounded so hoarse that it broke everyone’s heart.
My mind was only filled with Doah.
At that moment, my handphone began to vibrate, so I picked it up.
[Luka is live~ Life updates~]
I used to smile whenever this popped up…
But currently, I just knew I had a cranky expression on my face without even having to look in the mirror.
「Guys, Luhai~ Luhai~」
As soon as I joined the stream, I heard a cheerful greeting which was hard to believe coming from Doah.
To think she could greet others that cheerfully.
Why do you only nod your head at school then?
「Somehow~ it feels like I haven’t been online for a long time. Even though it’s only been two days.」
Even before she said that, her chat had already spammed the same thing.
[what took you so long? what took you so long? what took you so long?]
[Are you trying to kill me? Are you trying to kill me? Are you trying to kill me? Are you trying to kill me?]
[luhai, luhai, luhai, luhai, luhai, luhai]
I used to only think about going along with the chat, but now I’ve also turned into one of the viewers spamming messages.
「Let’s chat for a bit today! Also, I have a big announcement to make about the audition.」
A big announcement? Was there anything that needed to be announced?
The chat was flooded with question marks after she said ‘big announcement’, it seemed like there were a bunch of others who were thinking the same thing as me.
[Luka-nim, don’t tell me…]
[No… But that’s a bit…]
Luka’s avatar made a frown when the Pink Army started making absurd comments without knowing what it was.
「Come on, guys. I haven’t even said anything!」
Luka carried on the talk at her own pace, realizing she couldn’t possibly go on if she reacted to every single thing.
「So, tonight’s dinner is cold kimchi noodles. Let me bring it here and eat it in a bit, okay?」
-Tuk, tuk, tuk
Although I couldn’t see it on the screen, I could hear the sound of footsteps getting further away.
Then, they came closer again, followed by an ASMR mukbang soon after.
「I really don’t know why noodle soup is so tasty these days. I think I ate four times this week.」
When they heard the sound of her eating again, the chat was filled [cuteee].
I could only imagine Doah sitting alone at her table and eating noodles.
Was this the so-called ‘red pill’?1T/N: In this context, it’s when you discover a vtuber in real life.
As Luka’s and Doah’s image started to overlap, I also began to find that part of her cute.
And they said you’d get disillusioned if you met a vtuber in real life…
「Chat. For cold kimchi noodle soup, the kimchi has to be delicious. Agree?」
[It more or less just tastes like kimchi, so yeahhh]
Since the chat kept moving too fast, Luka picked up any questions or responses that drew her attention and mentioned them.
「Talking about food. Do I cook for myself? I live alone, so yes, I kinda have to do that.」
「I feel like I’m getting better at cooking now that I cook for myself? But it’s not like I’ve ever cooked for someone else.」
「I’m not confident enough to invite people over to try my cooking, though. To me, as long as my cooking can fill my stomach, it’s enough. Mmm~ That was delicious! I’m going to clean these up, be right back!」
After I heard the sound of running steps, Luka declared that she was going to reveal the big announcement.
「Ahem…! Now for the big announcement!」
「Actually, it’s not that big of a deal, but I do have something to ask you all…」
Luka’s deliberate pauses made the chat get overrun by the angry Pink Army, so Luka went straight to the point.
「For my third round, I think it’ll be good to let you guys hear my songs and choose one for me!」
When they heard that Luka would be singing for them, the chat erupted in celebration, as if their angry outburst when she left them hanging for a brief time just now never happened.
「I prepared two songs, so listen till the end and don’t forget to vote~ Alright, here we go. Number one!」
The first song sounded like an upbeat anime theme song.
「I’ll muster up the courage to confess my feelings to you~」
「Sometimes it’s hard and tiring~」
「Just know that I’ll always be watching over you!」
Hmm… Not bad.
It was the safer option.
The song was made by an active idol, and it suited her voice well.
If I had to pick out a flaw, though, I’d say that it lacked uniqueness.
In truth, there were some candidates who were objectively better at singing than her, so it would be difficult for her to win if she only relied on her singing ability.
That was why I thought she should pick a song that could emphasize her unique vocals…
「Now for the second song. Here I go! Ahem… Ahem!」
When the instrumental part came out, I could tell that this song was 180 degrees different from the previous one.
It was a calm ballad song.
No doubt that this one did a better job of showcasing her vocal charm
The high notes were slowly built up.
Then, it slowly got into the chorus…
「Will the spring we spent together return again?」
「The warm sunlight and that blinding smile.」
「Even now, you’re the reason I breathe.」
The lyrics were clearly heart-wrenching, and her voice was able to capture the feelings perfectly, but there was a bitter taste in my mouth.
…It was this one.
A few days ago, she forgot to leave the call while she was practicing.
Actually, was it really a mistake?
Because Doah was only humming the song.
Once again, I was struck by the realization that those two were the same person. It felt like a big nail was driven into my chest.
Suddenly, I remembered the day I rejected Doah.
She said that she couldn’t start a stream because she had a really rough day back then…
It was such an embarrassing moment because I commented, ‘Which bastard did this to you?’
「Phew~ That’s it for the second song~ Which one do you think is better? I’m going to open the poll for just three minutes. So hurry up and vote~」
As Luka opened up the poll, the viewers expressed their opinion at lightning speed.
Two bars were rising to reflect the results in real time.
「Ooh… It’s very close. It’s only been a minute, though?」
The red bar represented the first option while the blue one represented the second. Both of them were neck to neck.
[Thirty seconds left!]
The viewers who had finished voting were going crazy.
[No, why did you choose number 2? It should obviously be number 1 for the audition]
[If we’re focusing on tone alone, number 2 wins.]
[but isnt 1 better cause its more upbeat and pleasant to listen to?]
「Time’s up! The poll is closed! Okay, let’s look at the results!]」
An exact number showed up as soon as I heard Luka’s mouse clicking sound.
「Hmm…watching this, isn’t it going to be hard?」
[47 : 53]
It was truly a close one.
If anything, after seeing the number, it was difficult to choose one over the other.
Everyone was watching what decision Luka would make.
「Wow~ Happysquid-nim!!! 100,000 won~ He said he likes number one so much~ Then I’ll go with number one~」
A red flush appeared on Luka’s avatar as she made a sly smile.
「I-If you request this so sincerely, it might be hard to say no…」
‘Hu. Luka-tan, no, Kim Doah. If you’re like this, you’ve left me with no choice…’
‘No matter how much you like money, number one is not it!’
It definitely wasn’t it!
Ready to use up all the money I earned by working like a dog, I tapped on the keyboard.
[Luka-tan! Choose number 2! Number 2!]
Whether she intended it or not, that day, Luka was raking in some fat cash.
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- 1T/N: In this context, it’s when you discover a vtuber in real life.