Tong Yan had seen these kinds of events play out many times, but being on the other end of the screen for the first time, he realized just how powerful the peanut gallery’s ability to draw conclusions and change sides was.
One second, they were excitedly calling out ‘sweet’, the next second, they evaluated with the tone of an expert, “Am I the only one who thinks they won’t divorce even if this is the case? What do you think this kind of rich people marriage is? Just how much interest is involved? Originally, they lived together in harmony, and everyone did their own thing, it’s just that some bored person came and took a picture. True love … a group of naïve fools hyping up their delusions [villain open hand shrug ].”
This post wasn’t irritating, what was irritating was the fact that the 90-character limit was not enough for them to play, so they built a comment chain with five levels. There was no shortage of speculation about what ‘the world’ has not seen of Zhuo Xiang Ming’s multi-million-dollar net worth. Because the novelty of Zhuo Xiang Ming being seen carrying a companion in the middle of the night was not very high, the netizens were simply spreading good-for-nothing remarks.
Along with “Big Dog Let’s Get Wasted Tonight” releasing several instigating updates supporting equal rights for male and female AO, scroll down a few more times, and the above would seem very convincing.
Headed by this account that skyrocketed in popularity in a short time, and a group of ignorant fans, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s image became that of a lavish fool. In short, slander could be thrown around at will, as long as it didn’t land on his own doorstep.
How could they talk about Zhuo Xiang Ming like that? Venomous slander from impetuous speakers.
Tong Yan was young and had low tolerance. Furious to the point of irrationality, he impulsively held up his cell phone, preparing to wage war with this group of small and large troublemaking gossip-mongers and leg hairs for three hundred rounds.
Fortunately, he held back temporarily. When he snapped out of it, he knew that he had to find Zhuo Xiang Ming.
Zhuo Xiang Ming had an appointment at ten o’clock that morning. He got up early, and by the time he listened to the morning news and went for a morning run, it was half past seven.
According to the original plan, Tong Yan wasn’t supposed to be at his house on the weekend, and at this time, he should be on his way to the company. But after showering and blowing drying his hair, Zhuo Xiang Ming showed no signs of going out–he even took his time changing his clothes, adjusting the office table by the French window on the first floor, surveying the garden, examining the stock trends and funds, and finally examining … the butler robot, Xuan Gui.
“…” Zhuo Xiang Ming was really startled by Xuan Gui, who appeared behind him at some unknown point. “Why don’t you make sounds when you walk?”
Xuan Gui: “This is my current setting.”
Xuan Gui: “Do you wish to modify the settings?
“?” Zhuo Xiang Ming was also pretty bored: “What modes do you have?”
Xuan Gui: “Silent mode, dance music style, disco, blues, Jazz, rainfall on moss, death metal ……”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “……”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Silent mode.”
“Okay.” Xuan Gui said.
It turned around and walked away, saying: “Silent Mode.”
But it ran back two seconds later.
Xuan Gui, saying in embarrassment: “Sir, actually, I have something to report. In fact, this is the reason why I came over.”
Who knew? Even in the era of super intelligence, robots still had awkward moments.
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Speak.”
Xuan Gui: “This morning, the search frequency rate of your name slowly grew at 7:35, had a sharp increase to a peak at 8:05, and currently, at 8:18, the search popularity has basically stayed level for 13 minutes. The keywords synchronized with this growth rate include, ‘estrus’, ‘Zhuo family’, and similar variants.”
Just as Xuan Gui approached the work table in front of Zhuo Xiang Ming in order to present the web page, Lin Yue Hua sent a video call request.
While skimming over the news, Zhuo Xiang Ming accepted his mother’s video call.
The French window was selected as the display surface, and Lin Yue Hua’s anxious face appeared: “Xiang Ming, have you seen the news?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t even get a chance to open his mouth before she started explaining: “This time, it really wasn’t my side that sent someone to photograph you … After what you said last time, we informed the media to tone it down. For now, I’m still not clear what happened, but I’ve already sent someone to order them to contact us as soon as possible.”
“Don’t stress yourself out.” Zhuo Xiang Ming shared the screen with her, pointing to the “bangbang” user profile picture, “Can you find out which studio’s account this is?”
“The PR department says that they’ve never worked with that account, they can’t be certain right now, but it’ll be very easy to find out. The account just appeared this year, and its methods are really wild …… hah, why, of all the places they could be, they ran into……”
Lin Yue Hua deeply felt that she’d failed Zhuo Xiang Ming on this matter. The moment she heard the news, she blamed herself. But fortunately, the rumors were currently not exaggerated beyond recovery.
Zhuo Xiang Ming was interested in the Internet, but social networking was still very strange to him.
If today’s event only involved him, he wouldn’t treat it as something that needed to be kept private, and he would most likely give it the cold-treatment. The peanut gallery would eventually get bored after they had enough fun.
But interest in the subject was apparently still rising with incredible momentum. He thought about Tong Yan, who was still in bed upstairs. After returning with the sedative last night, he tiredly and fearfully closed his eyes, asking Zhuo Xiang Ming to give him the injection. When he saw that, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s chest was filled with an unprecedented desire to protect him.
Not only this barely adult omega’s estrus, but also that unfocused picture of their backs as they held hands. He was responsible for protecting all of it, he wouldn’t release it for public discussion.
“Then let’s wait for contact.”
At this time, despite the discussion, there was no malicious focus. Zhuo Xiang Ming’s public relations team also called, and the two parties worked together to find the account holder. Lin Yue Hua was more familiar with this field than him. After calming down, she said: “It won’t be long.”
While they waited, Lin Yue Hua suddenly asked: “Why did you go to the hospital last night?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “His pheromones were disrupted a little, we went to get some medicine.”
“How? It’s the weekend, didn’t he go to the Tong family’s house?” Lin Yue Hua relaxed a bit, no longer so edgy, she even couldn’t help but smile, “What the gossip blogger wrote, did that really happen?”
After hesitating a moment, Zhuo Xiang Ming nodded.
Lin Yue Hua smiled unabashedly: “You’re very caring towards Tong Tong.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming shut down the webpage, closing the above-mentioned picture of him hugging Tong Yan.
Lin Yue Hua exclaimed in her heart, almost 30 and still so shy, but only said out loud: “My guess is that they’re young journalists with no connections. They thought that this wouldn’t become a scandal, so they posted it confidently. After all, there are many people who’ll willingly pay a large price for such a scoop… oh, here’s the information.”
Lin Yue Hua sent the information and pictures her staff gave her to the shared screen, reading it along with Zhuo Xiang Ming.
Sure enough, as Lin Yue Hua guessed, bangbang really did send someone to follow Zhuo Xiang Ming, from driving out to pick up Tong Yan and bringing him home, it was all on camera.
Perhaps because he left home in the middle of the night, the reporter immediately guessed it to be an extramarital affair, but Zhuo Xiang Ming was just picking up Tong Yan, which was probably even more in line with the paparazzi’s expectations.
Because this news was sufficiently juicy, and it didn’t seem like it would anger the financial group, the gossip blog dared to post it without any worries about the consequences, ready to earn a wave of attention.
Unexpectedly, the individuals involved came knocking on their door. At this time, bangbang’s attitude was excellent, readily promising “We’ll delete it immediately” and “We’ll sticky an apology.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming also expressed satisfaction after reading this, and the matter should have almost been concluded at this point. Who would’ve guessed that Xuan Gui would once again report: “Interest has risen again, keywords: affair, broken marriage.”
After refreshing and refreshing the webpage, the conclusion was, the public opinion’s tendency to reverse within 20 minutes was stupefying. Lin Yue Hua was anxious and angry, and “bangbang’s” side was also panicking. This wildfire of rumors wasn’t being led by them, but they were indeed the ones that started the fire.
When Tong Yan came downstairs, he found a small conference being held in the corner of the first floor of his house. Of the four people on the shared screen, only one was an acquaintance, Lin Yue Hua.
He’d changed into a thin sweater, but he still wore his pajama bottoms. Fortunately, he was neatly dressed, so Tong Yan put a bold face on to greet, “Good morning.”
The group on the screen returned his greeting with kind tones, and Zhuo Xiang Ming stretched out his hand towards him: “Come.”
Tong Yan walked over and stood beside him, Zhuo Xiang Ming asked: “How did you sleep? Still uncomfortable?”
Tong Yan: “I slept well, I’m not uncomfortable.”
The person in charge of bangbang timely marked a photo on the shared screen in red: “Holding the accounts that started the rumors and instigated the public responsible can be done quickly, but I personally think that there’s still a need for us to clarify it. Now that the public opinion is flowing in this direction, if we only delete it and apologize, even more people will think that we’re being paid off to keep quiet.”
The picture he marked was a photo of Zhuo Xiang Ming carrying Tong Yan out of the car. This time, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s back was to the camera, propping Tong Yan up by his butt, and Tong Yan’s chin was resting on his shoulder. His cap and the darkness of night distorted his face a little, but it was clear enough to recognize that the person Zhuo Xiang Ming was carrying out of the car was the same person in the wedding photos.
The two were in an intimate pose, perfect for newlyweds.
In fact, despite proposing it, bangbang was also hesitant. This photo was undoubtedly more eye-catching, but Tong Yan was barely 18, and he wasn’t a social media star. After deliberating over it for a night, they didn’t dare post it, now, they brought it out because they really had no other way.
Lin Yue Hua’s public relations assistant agreed: “Yes, this should get us the best effect. The untampered time and place data are the perfect evidence.”
Lin Yue Hua didn’t comment. Soon, Tong Yan realized that the people on the shared screen were watching him, and he immediately said: “Yes, I have no objections.”
The PR assistant said: “Good, then I’ll go make arrangements for the next task. I’ve disturbed everyone’s early morning rest.”
After saying this, the small conference was about to disperse, when Zhuo Xiang Ming finally spoke up after thinking over it: “Don’t do it.”
Lin Yue Hua subconsciously asked: “Why?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “It’s fine to release such a photo now, but what if we divorce in two years?”
Marriage record and romantic history truly shouldn’t influence someone’s spouse choices and life in any way, but in case it did, Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t want this fake marriage to give Tong Yan even a little bit of inconvenience in the future.
He obviously didn’t have an older lover, nor did he fall head over heels in love at the tender age of eighteen, like the gossipers say. He was pure and kindhearted, and he deserved the best protection. He also shouldn’t have to play the hero, letting someone fabricate one false sex scandal about him, in order to cover up another equally false sex scandal.
Person in charge of bangbang: I seem to have heard something extraordinary …
(Because it’s a futuristic AU setting, I made up a social media app called OUKM. It means “only you know me”, quite Chuunibyou, right (? ▽ ｀) In my setting, it functions as a kind of chat + information spreading app.)
leg hairs– lit. translation. I thought it was slang for something, but all I get is pictures of real leg hair when I google it. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s slang for ‘undesirables’
why, of all the places they could be, they ran into- 怎么哪儿路不通他往哪儿撞呢, I just guessed that that’s what she was saying, the sentence was gibberish to me.
cold-treatment- A PR method that involves blocking news sources from reporting, blocking interviews, releasing positive info to draw attention away from the negative, etc.
ZXM, you’re sweet, but you probably shouldn’t say that in front of paparazzi