What It's Like Being a Vampire - C.223 - : I Can’t Sing Well

What It's Like Being a Vampire

C.223 - : I Can’t Sing Well

Chapter 223: Chapter 223: I Can’t Sing Well

Translator: 549690339

In response to everyone’s encouragement, Xiang Kun waved his hand and said, “I’m not good at singing, can’t find the right pitch. If I was in a KTV or a bar, I could belt out a few lines with the atmosphere, but I can’t handle it in this situation.”

However, Chang Bin immediately responded, “No, no you’re definitely good! In the bar before, you didn’t even need music, you just sang solo, now should also be OK.”

“So, your solo performance can get the whole bar to clap and cheer? Our chef Xiang Kun has got some talent!” Xie Peng laughed, “You can just sing the song you sang at the bar.”

Xiang Kun laughed, “I sing solo because I am afraid of not matching the lyrics without the rolling song lyrics. Hey, this doesn’t make sense, I cook for you to eat, and after eating I have to sing for you to listen to? No way, buddies, now it’s your turn to showcase your talents to me!”

At this time, Yang Zhen’er showed her phone screen to Xiang Kun, “Chef Xiang, take a look, knowing that you are going to sing, Old Xia has accepted my video request, it wasn’t easy!”

Xiang Kun looked at Yang Zhen’er’s phone, and indeed saw Xia Libing on the screen.

After making eye contact with Xiang Kun through the screen, Xia Libing robotically raised her right hand to greet him, looking as if she wanted to wave goodbye.

Xiang Kun really didn’t want to sing. After all, he had no talent for singing. Without using “Emotional Assimilation”, it was almost impossible to make people feel good, it completely shattered his image in everyone’s mind.

The reason he didn’t reject outright from the beginning was that he wanted to continue the warm atmosphere that had been gradually built up during the meal.

Although everyone is now looking forward to hearing him sing, with various encouragements and instigations, he has further refined the cognitive models he built about the other nine people during the meal, especially Xie Peng, Linlin, Wang Han and Qin Ping, who have only met him once or were meeting him for the first time. So, he quickly came up with a natural way to divert everyone’s attention, allowing them to focus on other things and preventing their excitement from being extinguished.

The previous sentences were Xiang Kun’s attempts to guide the conversation according to his plan. However, after seeing Yang Zhen’er directly on video call with Old Xia, he suddenly changed his mind.

Xiang Kun said, “How about this, the rest of you sing first to warm up the atmosphere, I’ll join in once you’re done, otherwise, someone shy like me wouldn’t be able to handle all your attention!”

Chang Bin laughed, “I’d believe you if we were back in university, now who would believe you?! Would a shy person go on stage and sing in a bar? And you weren’t drinking at the time!”

“It’s not the wine getting me drunk, I was intoxicated by the wine you were drinking.” Xiang Kun replied.

“let Nana sing first. Nana is the most consistent when she sings, in terms of singing skills, she should be the best among us. Speaking of accompaniment, Old Yang…Sister Yang, you used to learn guitar, right? How many years have you been learning, you should be able to play one or two songs, right? Why don’t you collaborate with Nana.” Xie Peng said to Tang Baona and Yang Zhen’er.

Yang Zhen’er, who was “live-broadcasting” with her phone to Old Xia, glared at Xie Peng: “What ‘Old sister Yang’? Old Xie, you did it on purpose! Say it wrong again, I won’t let you off!”

Then, like she had thought of something, Yang Zhen’er said to Tang Baona: “Nana, you sing that one, ‘No Way to Change’. You’ve been practicing guitar for so long, you should be able to do it. Weren’t you planning to make a self-accompanied singing video for Chef Xiang before?”

Tang Baona said with some embarrassment, “I’m not very good at it yet…”

“You’re good, you’re good!” as she spoke, Yang Zhen’er went into the room, brought out a guitar, one hand carrying the guitar, the other still holding the phone “live-broadcasting” to Old Xia.

Actually, this guitar was bought by Yang Zhen’er for herself to learn, but after plucking it a few times and not getting the hang of it, it just sat collecting dust, until Tang Baona became interested and picked it up, introducing it to a new life.

Tang Baona had learned a bit previously, but had set it aside after just getting started. Fortunately, she had a musical background, so picking it up again was relatively quick. After a couple of months, she had practiced a few songs enough to perform them confidently.

When Yang Zhen Er handed her the guitar and she saw everyone’s expectant faces, Tang Baona dropped any pretense. After all, she did like singing in front of everyone. When they used to go to KTV together, she would hog the microphone and act as the group’s personal jukebox.

Seeing Tang Baona rise from the sofa to take the guitar and tune it, Xiang Kun went to get a chair from the dining room, placing it beside the television in the living room nearest to the dining room. He said, “Nana, sing from here.”

Tang Baona laughed and said, “Thank you, but this is me taking the fall for you. You better think about what you’re going to sing. If you dare duck out, see this guitar? It really hurts when it hits people.”

Under the anticipatory gazes of the other nine people in the living room, perhaps due to the alcohol, excitement, or shyness, Tang Baona’s cheeks flushed slightly. She closed her eyes to prepare herself, strummed the guitar, and began to sing softly,

“When the night slowly falls, surrounded by darkness…”

Watching Tang Baona intently and listening to her song, Xiang Kun was also sensing a “emotionally infused” woodcarving.

He placed the chair there not only so everyone could hear Tang Baona sing, but also because his bag was on that side. Inside the bag was a box containing Xiang Kun’s “Christmas gift” for Tang Baona. This gift was a wood carving he had made and infused with “happy” emotions before his blood-drinking earlier. He hoped that this carving would lead Tang Baona into some happy dreams as a small thank you for her editing his videos – Xiao Pingguo had previously told him that “happy” dreams had a positive effect on a person’s mood and state when they woke up.

An item with “emotional infusion”, if it comes into direct physical contact with someone or is close enough, Xiang Kun can sense that person’s emotions when he senses it.

But the carving was inside the box, inside the bag, not directly touching anyone. For anyone else, it would be highly unlikely to sense emotions. But Tang Baona was different – Xiang Kun could use the cognitive model he had built to predict her emotional changes. Under these circumstances, if she came within half a meter of an item Xiang Kun had “emotionally infused”, he could sense her emotions – something he had already demonstrated several times.

Xiang Kun was doing this in order to conduct an experiment on “emotional assimilation”.

Capitalizing on the emotional perception created by the carving next to the chair and his comprehensive cognitive model, coupled with Tang Baona’s really infectious singing, Xiang Kun was able to put himself into the same emotional state as hers before she entered the chorus.

“…I am like a dragonfly wandering in the water, unable to find the way back…”

Under the influence of Xiang Kun’s “emotional assimilation”, not just him, but the other eight people in the living room were all drawn into the same emotional state.

Xiang Kun imagined himself being transformed into a little elf with a pair of wings, darting around in a dimly lit forest. It was a feeling of solitary exploration of unknown territories. This feeling of loneliness wasn’t one of desolation, helplessness, or self-pity. Instead, it felt like breezy carefreeness and ultimate freedom.

The visuals that everyone else imagined were different, but the perceived feelings coming from the emotions were exactly the same.

After the song concluded, Tang Baona looked at everyone’s absorbed expressions, somewhat surprised.

Xiang Kun was the first to snap out of the emo state. He quickly observed everyone’s state, glanced at Xia Libing’s expression on Yang Zhen Er’s phone, and quickly sensed the handwritten lyrics he had given her. He then lightly clapped and praised, “You sing really well!”

“Nana, you’re amazing!” Yang Zhen Er affably approved, holding her fist tightly. But immediately after that, she frowned: “But for some reason, I kept imagining Brother Xiang with a pair of big wings carrying our bow as he flew over a dense forest, ready to hunt down something. Maybe I have seen too much of the Photoshop picture of Brother Xiang with the bow and arrow…”

“Yes, I had that feeling too, as if this song is for Xiang Kun, as if she is singing in a castle, standing by the window, watching Xiang Kun transform into a huge butterfly flying far into the night sky.” Tang Baoting also smiled and said.

Gao Yao shook his head and said quietly, “It should be a bat flying out of the castle, not a butterfly, right?”

Xie Peng also laughed, “Butterflies and bats? How can we tell it’s Xiang Kun, can we see that he’s bald? But seriously, this song does go well with the photo of Brother Kun moving through the crowd with a bow and arrow that was on the internet earlier. When I heard Nana singing it, I thought of that picture.”

Not only them, even Tang Baona, who initially channeled her emotions into her own self when the song started, found that as she continued to sing, like everyone else was stating, the ‘protagonist’ of the song, the carrier of her emotions, seemed to have become Xiang Kun?

Could it be that this song was particularly suitable for Xiang Kun?

Tang Baona couldn’t help but start to doubt it.

Having detached himself from the emotions, Xiang Kun, who had been constantly observing everyone and updating their cognitive model data, naturally understood their states.

It wasn’t that this song was suitable for him, but that he, during the process of “Emotional Assimilation”, immersed himself in the emotion that Tang Baona was conveying while singing, transforming it into his own. As such, once he encompassed her emotions, the focal point naturally shifted to himself.

Consequently, the emotions perceived by the others while listening were no longer directly from Tang Baona, but rather a “second-hand emotion” passed on by Xiang Kun.

Moreover, after transforming Tang Baona’s emotions into his own, Xiang Kun even influenced Tang Baona’s emotions in return. Her singing emotions remained consistent; it’s just that the target of her emotions also became Xiang Kun.

This can prove that whether it’s through “Emotional Infusion” items or other methods to perceive others’ emotions, as long as Xiang Kun can truly immerse himself in it, he can transform it into his own emotions, and use these transformed emotions to influence others.

After detaching from the emotions, he immediately tried to sense the brush-written lyrics, hoping to perceive Xia Libing’s emotions, but unfortunately, there was still no response. Through Yang Zhen’er’s live video, he also couldn’t see any emotional changes in Xia Libing. Clearly, this “Emotional Assimilation” cannot work through live video, at least not for Xia Libing.

After a round of laughter and teasing, everyone began to urge Xiang Kun to sing.

“Xiang Kun, sing the song you performed at the bar. The one that got everyone clapping? There must be a reason for that.” Tang Baoting said curiously.

Xie Peng laughed and said, “Sing whatever you want. You could sing ‘People Like Me’ that you sang at the KTV last time too!”

Linlin suggested, “Or Mao Buyi’s ‘Dispelling Worries’?”

“No! Don’t sing ‘Dispelling Worries’! Any other song is fine!” Yang Zhen’er immediately exclaimed, recalling the fear she experienced the first time they played cards and Xiang Kun controlled the game with ‘Dispelling Worries’.

Xiang Kun purposefully said, “If you say so, then I feel the urge to sing ‘Dispelling Worries’. I’m going to sing ‘Dispelling Worries’!”

Yang Zhen’er stared at him for a moment then lowered her head towards the phone and said to Xia Libing, “Sis! If I can’t take it later and have to run, don’t blame me for leaving you behind. If you also can’t handle it, just cut off the video. Don’t force yourself to endure it…”

Tang Baona laughed and teased her, “It’s not that serious!”

However, Xiang Kun didn’t sing ‘Dispelling Worries’ again, even though he believed it wouldn’t be as disastrous as it was previously.

He actively discussed with Tang Baona and selected a song from the few she could still play.

Xiang Kun chose “Meeting Again” by Wu Bai. Tang Baona’s expression became a little tense as her eyes fixated on her piano strings. She was not as familiar with this song compared to the last one she played.

However, when Xiang Kun began singing into his banana microphone, Tang Baona’s nervousness subsided. She started to laugh and strum along with everyone else. Because she knew all eyes were on Xiang Kun, and no one would focus on whether her playing was accurate or not.

Xiang Kun wasn’t singing particularly well. Unlike his previous renditions of “People Like Me” and “‘Big Husband,” his performance didn’t draw listeners into the same emotions he was feeling—he deliberately kept himself from getting too immersed, lest he trigger another “emotional assimilation.”

But before deciding to sing “Meeting Again,” Xiang Kun quickly constructed a cognitive model for this song in his mind.

Yes, not only people and things, but a voice, an image, a memory, an event—anything containing sensory information could be used to establish cognitive models.

In the same way he cooks, he can create cognitive models for every dish—a combination of visual patterns, abstract logic, data algorithms, and all sorts of structural models. In this model, various methods can be devised to solve problems in the most efficient way.

Just like with the song “Meeting Again,” by constructing an imperfect cognitive model based on his memory of Wu Bai’s singing, the audio of the song, the MV, and Xiang Kun’s own scattered musical knowledge, he immediately knew the best interpretation of the song given his current vocal abilities—that’s imitation.

So basically, Xiang Kun imitated Wu Bai’s performance of the song from his memory. He closely replicated the vocals and rhythm, incorporating the unique characteristics of the original singer’s voice.

To the likes of Chang Bin, Wang Han, and Tang Baoting, the more similar Xiang Kun’s impersonation was, the funnier it seemed—due to the stark contrast with his usual personality.

Especially Yang Zhen’er, the smartphone in her hand shook from laughter. At the other end of the screen, Xia Libing frowned deeply, and her head involuntarily tilted towards one side with the movement of the phone.

After Xiang Kun finished singing, Xie Peng immediately said, “Brother Xiang, your imitation of Wu Bai is top-notch. You could go on a celebrity impersonation show! The pitch was much better than when you sang ‘People Like Me’ last time. The breathing was also more stable. But comparatively, the emotions were not as good as last time. If you sang with your own voice instead of imitating Wu Bai’s, it might have been much better…”

Linlin laughed and interrupted, “Do you think you’re a talent show judge? You’re just a game designer! You may not even sing as well as Brother Xiang!”

Xiang Kun immediately said, “I can’t believe that. I’ve heard from Nana that Brother Xie used to sing duets with you in high school! Come on, it’s your turn to perform now!” As he spoke, he shoved the banana that served as the microphone into Xie Peng’s hand.

Following Xiang Kun’s intentional guidance, everyone “performed” a bit of “talent”. The atmosphere was very lively. Everyone had to participate, so no one continued to ask him to sing. However, when Chang Bin had no choice, he pulled Xiang Kun up to ad-lib for him while telling a cross-talk comedy routine of Yue Yunpeng.

Wang Han, Linlin, and Xie Peng all sang pretty well, and even Gao Yao could do a bit of Beatbox. But the most surprising was Qin Ping, a schoolmate of Yang Zhen’er’s, who played “Boundless Ocean, Vast Sky” by tapping spoons, chopsticks, bowls, and cups. It was intermittent, but the experience was truly extraordinary.

By nearly eleven o’clock, Xiang Kun made two new dishes, heated up some leftovers, and let everyone eat a late-night snack.

During the chat, Qin Ping mentioned that she had received job offers from two companies, and she didn’t know which one to choose.

Xiang Kun naturally wouldn’t comment on such a matter. Listening to others’ analysis was enough, as different fields have different workplace environments.

However, when Xiang Kun heard that one of the companies offering Qin Ping a job was “Divine Technology”, he instantly became interested.