Chapter 20 — Retreating Tide
“Don’t be too worried about what they say on the internet,” Sun Yuhan walked up to Ning Xi and handed her a bottle of water. “Drink some water.”
“Thank you, Sister Yuhan.” Ning Xi took the bottle and saw that it hadn’t been opened. Sun Yuhan was a very cautious person; she noticed all these little details.
There was a story in the circles about two artists who were competing for a role. One of them put sleeping pills in the water the other drank, affecting her acting. This matter was only known in private circles, so she didn’t know whether it was true or false. However, Zhang Qingyun indeed mentioned for her to pay more attention regarding this matter.
Seeing that Ning Xi didn’t seem hassled, Sun Yuhan smiled, “When I was scolded on the internet, I refused to see people and hid in my room for days. At that time, I felt very wronged. Obviously, I hadn’t done all the things they said I did. Why did these people say and act as if they were there on the scene?”
Looking at the smiling Sun Yuhan, Ning Xi sipped at the water. “What did you do, then?”
“I clarified the issue seriously, later. I couldn’t wait to dig my lungs out and show it to them to make them believe me, but haters will hate. They won’t change their opinion of you. Slut, pretender, useless vase, bitch, they threw all kinds of terms at me.” Sun Yuhan took a deep breath and looked at Ning Xi seriously. “You may be an idol for some people. You will also be a venting object for those who are dissatisfied. This is the price of being a celebrity. If you want to stand high, you must learn to accept all of this. In the entertainment circle, learning to deal with this is the first step to success and fame. And if you don’t have fame, you won’t make it.”
“Then you get used to it,” Sun Yuhan continued, “and it won’t matter anymore.”
Ning Xi looked at the other woman and was silent for a moment. “I understand. Thank you, Sister Yuhan.”
In reality, as long as people are living, they can’t be indifferent to insults, but they can learn to accept it if it can’t be changed.
The netizens’ posts fell like snowflakes. Some influencers seemed to like the dark powder of Ning Xi. There were also the so-called entertainment gossip bloggers. They were indeed merciless and ruthless in their words, writing articles like, “The Unknown Side of Ning Xi”. For a time, slaying Ning Xi’s reputation on the internet seemed to make people popular. It was as if she had kicked old people and grabbed children’s lollipops. Her reputation was marred beyond reason.
At that time, a well-known blogger stood up and sent out a post saying that if a newcomer was blackened beyond recognition like this, the entertainment circle was really deep.
Some netizens who had been disgusted with the amount of slander that was put on her now became a little rebellious after his post. They felt a sense of belonging with the post and silently forwarded it.
User A: All these materials have been written so descriptively. I have wanted to ask for a long time. Did the person who gave this black material hide under her bed to get it? Is this tracking not illegal? Isn’t it also trespassing?
User B: You said that Ning Xi poured boiling water on her assistant, is your brain dead? First, why would the assistant give her artist hot water to drink? Second, do you know the consequences of boiled water poured on the face? If, as you say, boiled water has been poured, why is there no scar on her face? And why is she working with Ning Xi? Her heart is really big, in that case.
User C: It was said that Ning Xi showed off too much and acted as if she was equal to the big-shots. Since ‘Beautiful Red Clouds’, she hasn’t even participated in a show. She hasn’t participated even in any commercial activities. Where is she being arrogant?
This was the way of the internet. When a person was oppressed and the black material used had no evidence, it was possible for passers-by to doubt and suspect that the person’s name was being deliberately blackened. Who had felt uncomfortable to make such a big effort to slander her name?
Jiuji Entertainment’s public relations had long taken advantage of this trend to reverse the opinion of netizens so that people would believe that Ning Xi was being intentionally discredited by her competitors and that in reality, she wasn’t such a person.
But the black material had already been exposed and people now had a bad impression on Ning Xi. It was not a matter that could be reversed overnight. In addition, in the current atmosphere of the entertainment circle, people always looked to find fault with female artists. Such people didn’t care whether the black material was true or false. The actress was beautiful. She also became popular too soon. So there must be a problem with her.
“Shi Gui?” When Chang’s mother came out of her greenhouse, she saw her son sitting under a tree and working on his computer. He had a displeased expression on his face. As she approached the table, she saw a cup of Wisteria tea on it. It had already grown cold.
She thought for a second and turned and walked away.
Chang Shi Gui closed the browser and took out his phone to look for a number. Finding it, he dialled the number.
Yao Zhengwei, Weibo’s largest shareholder, didn’t expect that the CEO of Chang would suddenly call him. Mr Chang owned 6% stake in the company and was one of the major shareholders. However, he had never involved himself in the company’s matters. Why was the wind blowing his way, today?
“Recently in the entertainment news?” Yao Zhengwei froze slightly. Mr Chang was a big boss who didn’t care about trivial matters. To make him open his mouth and ask about this, this person probably had a deep relationship with him.
“I must trouble Mr Yao for this. This artist is my old classmate. She has been wronged for no reason at all. I’m feeling sorry for her now.” Hearing Yao Zhengwei agreeing to the matter, he continued, “Yes, before I forget, I’ve spoken to several shareholders about the reform plan you proposed last time. When you have time, a few of us can sit together and discuss it.”
Once Yao Zhengwei hung up, he hurriedly called his secretary and asked if there had been an artist named ‘Ning Xi’ who had been discredited recently. If so, immediately call the number of the marketing team and have them remove the topic.
Some plans he had proposed a while ago had been blocked by several major shareholders. Now that some were willing to support him, it came as a timely boon.
It was just that, was this Ning Xi just an old classmate to Chang Shi Gui? If a smart businessman like Mr Chang was willing to do such a thing for an ordinary classmate, who would believe it?
“Brother Zhang, Weibo began to withdraw the topic. Did you spend a lot of money for this?” The public relations person found that the hot topic of Ning Xi fell to the bottom of the list and was gradually withdrawn. He felt some doubt in his mind. Wasn’t this speed of drop a little too fast?
“It wasn’t me. I contacted the person-in-charge at Weibo and their answer was a little ambiguous.” Zhang Qingyun was also puzzled. He knew the kind of influence Weibo had on the internet. If a topic became popular by accident, it was easy to withdraw it by paying them out. But this time, it was obvious that someone had paid for a water army to blacken Ning Xi’s name, and according to Weibo’s style, they shouldn’t be helping both parties, right?
“So what happened? Can there be a fan of Ning Xi’s at the top level?” The public relations guy thought for a moment. “Well, anyway. It’s a good thing the black material is removed. It’s easier for us to handle things here.”
Soon, Weibo and other famous platforms changed their tune. They no longer reported the negatives of Ning Xi but praised her strengths, as if the black material had never been posted by them.
According to the passers-by, netizens and fans who supported Ning Xi, it was their opinion that forced the platforms to change their tune. So they had a sense of accomplishment in their hearts.
Just as the media switched its tone, several artists who had worked with Ning Xi stood up and made posts supporting her.
Zhou Zhengchuan and Shi Pang spoke, but they both were Jiuji’s artists, the same company as Ning Xi, so the netizens weren’t surprised. What really shocked them was that among the people who praised her were big names such as Shao Chong, Zhou Hail as well as popular artists such as Chu Heng, Sun Yuhan and Zhu Jiafei.
If it was true that Ning Xi was as unbearable as the black material said, would so many big names stand up to support her?
This incident happened certainly because Ning Xi became so popular that she had blocked the exposure of some people whose envy turned into hatred.
Some people thought it was strange that Sun Yuhan and Shao Chong were friendly with Ning Xi. When did they meet, to have such a good relationship?
User A: I don’t know if you still remember last year’s news about the crew of ‘Tán Hǎixiān jì’. It was rumoured that Emperor Shao was the male lead and Sun Yuhan was the female lead. I can probably guess why they helped speak up for Ning Xi.
User B: Above, what you said can’t be true. If it is, Ning Xi is too powerful!
Black Powder A: Oh, some fans just want to toot their own horns for their masters. Maybe these big names spoke up just to give Jiuji Entertainment face. What ‘Tán Hǎixiān jì’! Your family’s artist is just a vase with no acting skills. Does she have the ability to take part in such a big production?
User A: Ning Xi’s acting skills, people can see with their own eyes. We don’t need you to be the critic for her. It looks like your master gave you a couple of cents and you’re sparing no effort to blacken Ning Xi’s name.
Users could see what was truth and what was created. These accounts scolding Ning Xi were mostly newly registered. Although they had avatars, their names were fictitious and all their posts seemed to be pasted from elsewhere. It didn’t look like a normal person’s Weibo account.
These black powder people were indeed crazy and ridiculous.
Seeing the topic disappearing on Weibo, Sun Yuhan was surprised for a second, then realised what might have happened. She looked at Ning Xi dressed in her costume, listening carefully to Director Qian. She turned to look at the restless Zhu Moli and gave her a mocking smile.
It was no wonder that after being in the circles for so many years, she wasn’t even able to match a newcomer. With this brain, she would bring her own death soon enough.
She was afraid that this matter… wasn’t finished yet.