Chapter 257: A Turn of Tides
As a talk show host, Jia Zhengyi had a large following of fans, but it was nothing compared to Su Li’s legion of fanatical followers. She wasn’t known as the nation’s Goddess for nothing, and Jia Zhengyi’s fan base stood no chance at all in a head-to-head. Once, a person going by the handle “Legend of the Cloud” had posted a negative comment about Su Li, and his account was immediately swarmed by tens of thousands of her fans. In the end, Weibo had to even suspend his account.
Similarly, in the ongoing assault, flash crowds of netizens were drowning out Jia Zhengyi’s own followers and pushing them to the brink, with no room left to maneuver, and their counteraction was in total collapse.
A rumor started going around that ‘Legend of the Cloud’ was, in fact, Jia Zhengyi’s alternate account, and it was explicitly used to stir up issues and boost his popularity. Each of its comments was always made immediately following Jia Zhengyi’s posts. Several netizens proficient in IT had claimed that the account shared the same login IP address with Jia Zhengyi’s verified account.
When the rumor went viral, the entire community of Weibo users was up in arms. An overwhelming surge of comments criticizing Jia Zhengyi flooded his page. In the beginning, Jia Zhengyi countered the allegations in his typical fashion. But as it went on, he finally got agitated and lost his composure under the weight of the endless insults he kept receiving. While he met the challenge like Xiao Luo did in the beginning, his mettle and articulation were far inferior. In the end, his responses became more irrational and spiteful.
“You guys are a bunch of garbage and trash. Keyboard warriors who only know how to hurl out insults on the internet. You should all go and eat shit and scram back to your mother’s placenta!!!”
In an outrage, Jia Zhengyi posted this without the slightest consideration of its consequences.
The image Jia Zhengyi had established over the years crumbled in an instant. Even many of his own fans who closely followed his shows left in protest.
“Mr. Jia, you disappoint me too much. As a public figure, do you think it’s okay to insult others like this?”
“Very disappointed. Never thought that the TV host I’ve fancied for so long is of such low quality. What a loser.”
“Sorry, I can’t accept Mr. Jia in his current form!”
The entire home screen was filled with comments expressing disappointment towards Jia Zhengyi. Jia Zhengyi’s follower count on Weibo was declining rapidly. In mere hours, he lost more than two million followers.
An army of netizens stormed into the Xiahai TV station’s Weibo page, the TV station that produced Jia Zhengyi’s TV show, and inundated the comments section with expressions of anger and disappointment.
“Is this Xiahai TV station’s TV host? Firing insults at everyone, saying ‘trash,’ and ‘garbage’ whenever he opens his mouth, Xiahai TV has really low requirements for their own TV hosts.”
“It is really sad for your TV station to have a TV host like Jia Zhengyi.”
“I strongly advise you to sack Jia Zhengyi!”
“I’m not going to watch your TV programs anymore. I bet you people in the TV station are as bad if you can tolerate someone like Jia Zhengyi among your ranks. Bird of a feather flock together.”
“Boycott Jia Zhengyi! Boycott Xiahai TV station!”
The celebrities that had castigated Jia Zhengyi earlier once again joined the fray…
“Before you judge others badly and make unreasonable comments about their affairs, please ask yourself first, is it really right for you to comment on someone else? It seems that someone has revealed the ugly side of himself very quickly!”
“You should just stay at home with that poor character of yours. Even the TV station behind you is caught in your mess. I think it’s really time for you to reflect on yourself.”
“San Qian Luo Shui’s responses were fantastic and admirable, but someone like you can only vomit out a mouthful of shite, it makes people feel sick!”
The chairman of Xiahai TV Station was sleeping soundly in the comfort of his lavish home when he was urgently awakened and informed of the fiasco. Upon being notified about the incident, he became concerned with the negative public opinion their TV host was attracting. It was mounting steadily and was having an adverse effect on the station. Faced with immense pressure, he quickly phoned Jia Zhengyi and furiously ordered him to instantly delete all the comments, or he’d be blacklisted.
Jia Zhengyi felt betrayed as the station represented his last safe haven. He felt so anguished that he was close to vomiting blood. His purpose of hyping up Xu Guansong’s lengthy article was to remain visible to his fans, and of course, to maintain his presence and popularity. But who’d have known that ‘San Qian Luo Shui’ would stir up such a social media storm? He had to delete all his posts from his insults to netizens and even Xu Guansong’s lengthy article, under the explicit instructions of his senior management.
Add to his woes, he had to appease the public and calm the situation by publicly apologizing to the netizens. It worked to a certain extent, and the hate messages slowly abated.
Unfortunately, screenshots of his inappropriate posts had been saved and were later circulated. Netizens who were oblivious to the goings-on were attracted by the trending chatter in social media and caught on after going through the screenshots. The second wave of attacks again inundated Jia Zhengyi’s Weibo page and left many offensive comments about his personality. Most of the posts alluded to him being of low caliber and unqualified to be a TV host. It was so severe that Jia Zhengyi was forced to disable the comments section.
“Hahaha… this feels f*cking great! That fool Jia Zhengyi won’t dare to squeak anymore now! Lao Xiao, whoever dares to offend you, will meet their karma quickly.”
Zhang Dashan could finally vent out the long-held anger in his heart. Seeing Jia Zhengyi first deleting his status, then posting a lengthy apology, and eventually disabling his comments section, was truly gratifying. Even more satisfying than bashing him up until even his mum could not recognize him!
“That’ll teach him not to mess with Brother Xiao. He bit off more than he can chew there,” Feng Wuhen said in agreement, then added, “Oh yeah, Brother Xiao, since you’re going to Xiahai City next year, you should find an opportunity to let him eat some sh*t.”
“Yeah, that is a great suggestion. Let that bastard know why roses are red,” Zhang Dashan echoed, eager to blow the matter up even further.
Xiao Luo raised his eyebrows, “There’s no need to wait until next year. When the results of Xu Guansong’s trail is disclosed, immediately instruct Zhang Yong to send a legal letter to Xiahai TV station to sue them of damaging our company’s reputation. Demand them for compensation and a public apology.”
This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction or something that Xiao Luo just happened to think of. It was a plan he had decided on the moment he took on Jia Zhengyi on social media. Since Jia Zhengyi dared to provoke him, he naturally would have to face the music.
But still, Xiao Luo had to thank Jia Zhengyi for his folly. His points in the system had now exceeded two million. He would no longer need to worry about having insufficient points whenever he required an ability in the days to come.
Nonetheless, he knew that it was mainly because of the female celebrity, Su Li, who had given him a follow and like, that it all ended well.
He found himself developing an interest in this celebrity. In fact, he knew quite a lot about Su Li. She was a popular and talented performer, and singing and acting were her forte. A campus drama propelled her to stardom as the character she had portrayed struck people’s hearts. She was able to make her audience happy when she smiled and sad when she cried. When the campus drama was released, it dominated all the internet platforms and TV stations and shot to the number one spot that season.
In the drama, she would always be remembered for her long black, silky hair, and a graceful, slender body wrapped in a white corset skirt. Sitting by the balcony with a book in her hands, with her delicate, alluring face glistening as the sun rose. She was gorgeous, and that scene captured the imagination of a nation.
Looking at a picture on Weibo, Xiao Luo quietly read her name in his heart.
He wasn’t sure if Su Li had given him a follow and like because of a grudge with Jia Zhengyi, or because she really appreciated his words. It was difficult to tell, as the entertainment industry was chaotic, and popularity was its primary currency. Many had tried to make a name for themselves but were buried under the exhaustive demands of the industry, and never made it to the top. It was ironic that those who were in there wished to get out, while those who were not broke their backs wanting to get in.
Suddenly remembering the matter, Zhang Dashan said, “Old Xiao, just so you know, Lao Guo is calling for a gathering of all our classmates from back in Guang province in four days.”
Lao Guo? Guo Qinghe?
Xiao Luo was a little surprised. Guo Qinghe was their class monitor in university. Now that he had taken the initiative to call for a gathering, Xiao Luo felt obliged to attend. Guo Qinghe had gone out of his way to help him during his time in university. He would never forget the time Guo Qinghe helped him in his appeal to procure financial subsidies for low-income families.
“Where would it be held?”
“It’s not set yet, but probably in Jiangcheng since most of our classmates moved out to neighboring cities. Jiangcheng is in the center, and it will be the most convenient place for the gathering to be held. Lao Guo is in Xiahai. I think he’ll be fine to make the journey to Jiangcheng,” Zhang Dashan replied.