Chapter 33:

My Girlfriend is a VTuber

Sweet like Honey

“This looks amazing!” Shirley peered into the studio apartment that I had bought with the compensation money that Victor Tang’s dad had given me. She did a twirl, spinning around in an attempt to take in all the soundproofed walls, which were painted a sky blue. “This place is really ours now?”

“Yeah.” I had moved my modest belongings from my old apartment into this one, and occupied a room. Moving past the narrow hall, I pushed open the door. “This is the studio room…where we will be conducting the streams.”

I had purchased a powerful new laptop with a high-quality video camera and microphone, and set it up on the desk placed against the corner. There was an ergonomic chair for Shirley to sit in. On the other end, I had my bed placed, which was where I would occupy while Shirley sang and streamed. I wouldn’t be needed for that aspect, only for editing videos to upload to her channel later.

Live streaming wasn’t my thing, and it was actually better if I didn’t interrupt.

“Incredible!” Shirley gushed, studying the computer and equipment. She glanced at me guiltily. “Honestly, I don’t understand how any of this works, but…this still looks really impressive.”

“Don’t worry, it’s more for video editing, and to record your live streams more efficiently. It’s worth it.”

The equipment was undoubtedly expensive, causing me over five thousand dollars in total. Added to the ninety thousand dollars I required to purchase the studio apartment, I was pretty much dry on funds now. Well, that was fine.

Victor’s dad had given me the hundred thousand dollars as compensation, despite his son being thrown into jail for harassment, intimidation and attempted physical assault. He didn’t have much of a choice – Travis made sure that the court would rule that he had to pay for damages in addition to serving some time in jail. In fact, even Victor’s family had pretty much abandoned him, his father severing ties and leaving the rest of the compensation to his son. By the time Victor was released from prison, he would be drowning to his neck up in debt.

I felt no pity for him whatsoever. I was so done. At first, I had thought I deserved it because of what I did in high school to Helen Huang, but I had more than paid them both back. He had crossed the line and was now paying for it.

“It’s not just this, though.” I grinned, and then glanced up when the doorbell rang. “Ah, he’s finally here.”

Shirley tensed, and I didn’t blame her. Nonetheless, I had made sure to have the discussion with her instead of springing it on her. That wasn’t how a relationship worked, after all. It was built on mutual trust.

Reaching out to hold her hand, I gave her an encouraging nod and reassuring squeeze before opening the door.


Fan Wong stood outside awkwardly, fidgeting restlessly. I gestured for him to come in.

“You said you know how to use an electronic music software?”

“Y…yes.” He nodded and then stared at Shirley hesitantly. Before either of us could say anything, he bowed his head deeply. “I’m very sorry for what I’ve done!”

“That’s all right,” Shirley said. She took a deep breath, and I could feel her grip tighten on my hand as she composed herself. “I forgive you. Everyone deserves a second chance. But you mess up once, and you’re out. Understand?”

“Crystal clear, ma’am!” He stood up straight, his pudgy features steeled with resolve. “I will not let you down!”

“Excellent.” I grinned. “Then let’s get this done.”

Within a few minutes, Shirley was seated in front of the computer monitor, the camera live. Her voice floated throughout the studio apartment, enclosed by the soundproof walls and accompanied by an electronically created melody that sounded pretty authentic.

Fan Wong was actually pretty talented at composing accompaniment music with an electronic software. I had learned that by accident when going through social media, which was why I hired him. Might as well give him a second chance. I had mine, and I had gotten this far. I was certain he deserved a shot too.

“Yay, yay, yay…oh…when I see you walk past, my heart beat really fast. I knew you’ll be mine. We won’t cross the line, but I hope you’ve seen the signs. Our future isn’t a dream. My love is what it seems. Hand in hand, we walk forward. We’ll be together, you have my word. The route ahead may seem far. But we’ll make it, yeah.”

From his position, Fan Wong was enthralled by Shirley’s singing. As I thought, she had a lovely, lovely voice. I couldn’t help but be captivated, but I ensured to keep my eye on the newly created channel. Despite doing my best to promote it on social media, I wasn’t able to gather as high a view count as I wanted.

On the other hand, with Fan Wong’s connections and his fervent promotion on idol forums and fan groups, he was able to convince a large number of users to check out the channel without giving anything away. We had emphasized to him the importance of keeping Shirley’s identity a secret, and perhaps because he wanted to atone, he had withheld the information zealously.

Even so, with only a little over a thousand viewers so far, this wasn’t looking promising. I scratched my head, wondering how many we needed. And we were talking about views alone, not subscribers.

The subscribers would be the real litmus test.

Don’t be impatient, I reminded myself. This was just the first livestream of the new VTuber, An Older Girl. Added with the anime-styled character that I drew, which was the typical dignified black-haired beauty, the intention was to create an impression of a mature lady who was experienced in singing.

Whether we could pull it off or not was another question altogether.

“Where Heaven meets Earth, two worlds collide. With my burning passion, I’ll take you for a ride. The Heavenly Sword slashes, and the Dragon Saber clashes. None can stand before us! We’ll attain immortality together and cross the heavens! The immortals may curse! But we’ll dial our power up to eleven!”

An entirely new song that Shirley had composed because she watched one of the weird eastern cultivation animations that I had recommended her. Perhaps that was a bad idea…

However, just when I was thinking that, I saw the views slowly pick up.

“10,000 now?” I whispered. And growing. This was encouraging. I could see over 2,000 subscribers now.

And for the very first livestream too.

“Oh, wow…” I scanned through the comments and chat. Everyone was impressed by Shirley’s singing.

“She’s like a pro!”

“I swear I’ve heard her sing somewhere before.”

“The lyrics are amateurish, but that’s part of the charm. Especially since it’s sung so beautifully!”

“Who is this older girl?! Where did she come from? How did I not hear of her before?!”

“Yes!” I couldn’t help but pump my fist, though I kept my voice down so as not to interrupt Shirley’s stream. My heart beat quickly in my chest, and I saw that Fan Wong was similarly excited, his chubby face flushed as he gaped at his tablet.

“We’re doing it!” He whispered. I nodded and returned my attention to the gradually growing view counter and increasing number of subscribers.

Shirley’s re-debut to virtual stardom had just launched and taken the Internet by storm.

Steward McOy
John Lee H. Wu