Chapter 233: That ever quiet room
As Apple prepared to depart, Xu Tingsheng was dialling that number, throwing out the first card in his hand.
More than ten minutes passed.
While he was feeling rather uneasy, Jin Datang who had been navigating the industry for more than ten years consoled himself. He shouldn’t be intimidated by a mere kid. Over an hour had passed, and he still hadn’t done anything at all, wasn’t that right?
Even Shi Zhongjun himself was all smiles as everyone exchanged toasts and polite words.
Jin Datang thought that nothing seemed to be wrong. Even as this matter weighed on his mind, he smilingly conversed with the bigwigs present, saying something dirty and feeling up some of the female artistes once in a while.
His deputy came over and whispered something into his ear, pulling him away from the crowd.
“What is it?”
His deputy not having gone into specifics before the rest, Jin Datang questioned him about it now.
“Photographs of when Lu Lin was a hostess in the past as well as of her dancing on the stage and entering and leaving a hotel with a client were uploaded more than ten minutes ago onto some major websites and forums all at once,” Jin Datang’s deputy said, looking at him uneasily.
Lu Lin was a female artiste whose image Jin Datang had spent quite a bit of effort building. She had a good figure and was very proficient at currying favour, being very willing to acquiesce as was necessary. Currently, she was already somewhat well-known and could be considered a relatively important artiste of Tianle.
Jin Datang said decisively, “Find someone and suppress it.”
“I’ve found someone and spent the money. The threads and articles are all being deleted. Still, the news has already spread. We can only try to play things down now. This is being arranged.”
“Go investigate. Most importantly, check if it’s Tianyi who’s behind it.”
After his assistant had walked off, Jin Datang inhaled deeply, trying to calm himself down. In the end, no longer being in the mood to continue socialising in the hall, he returned to his private room with a gloomy expression on his face. As he traversed the corridor, he unconsciously turned to look at that ever quiet room.
“Is it him? Tianyi is behind him? Or is he borrowing Tianyi’s power to divert away attention?”
The problem now was that no one could be certain about Xu Tingsheng’s background. With him remaining alone up there, there was no way at all to penetrate his defences. Jin Datang did not even know who he should look for if he wanted to launch a counterattack, who he should target.
Xu Tingsheng poured himself a glass of wine.
He was waiting.
A short while later, Huang Yaming texted him, “It’s rather chaotic here. There are many who’ve received the news. They’re discussing it right now, with most rejoicing over Tianle’s misfortune.”
Xu Tingsheng replied, “Where’s Jin Datang?”
Huang Yaming replied, “He’s gone back to his private room. He didn’t look too good.”
Xu Tingsheng replied with a simple ‘got it’ before making his second call.
Jin Datang soon received news that photographs of one of Tianle’s male artistes who had a ‘healthy public image’ being all over a girl as he brought her back to a hotel had been leaked.
Then, an increasing number of detrimental news began successively trickling in. Tianle…was suffering attacks from all around.
Xu Tingsheng was rather puzzled when he heard about this.
Tianyi’s VP sent him a message, “Someone’s beating them when they’re down. It shouldn’t be just a single party. Brother Xu can wait patiently for a while and let them rear their heads. This way, the pressure on Jin Datang will be greater. There are many in the industry who would like to see him fall.”
Xu Tingsheng opened the door, entered the corridor and gazed downstairs. The major figures in the hall were all still in the midst of conversing merrily with upraised wineglasses. Some of them were even chatting enthusiastically with Tianle’s people with smiles on their faces.
Yet, they had already made a move behind their backs, ruthlessly exacerbating their misfortune.
Things were not going well for Jin Datang at all.
He certainly wasn’t someone who was so vulnerable; otherwise, with the vicious methods that he constantly employed and the people he had offended, it was impossible that he could have survived until now. Yet, the greatest problem now was still this. He wanted to act out the role of the mad dog, act out stubbornly resisting and dealing damage to the other party at cost of both sides being terribly damaged, longed to lunge over and give them a good one…yet, he did not know who it was that he should be targeting.
With how things were now, it was likely that there were already multiple parties acting against him.
If he were to act hastily, he might accidentally end up with even more enemies, with yet more people acting against him.
As for Tianyi, Jin Datang definitely had his suspicions about them. Yet, just such suspicion alone was insufficient for him to vengefully go all out against Tianyi without mind of the consequences. He was not important enough as well as lacked the capabilities to do so. With Tianyi appearing neutral on the surface as well, he even lacked the basis to gain sympathy at their oppression.
Xu Tingsheng remained all alone as he returned to his private room which remained ever quiet, with not a single soul moving about the area.
“Hurry up and investigate him! I’ll go look for Shi Zhongjun,” Jin Datang stood up and instructed.
Then, he looked back as he arrived at the door, “I might have to give Shi Zhongjun a good one to probe Tianyi out later. You guys get ready the preparations.”
A Tianle VP stood up, looking at Jin Datang with evident worry on his face as he clearly disapproved of him battling Tianyi. Tianle completely lacked the qualifications for such.
“Relax! If it really is Tianyi, how much is that kid worth in Shi Zhongjun’s eyes? That’s what I’d like to find out.”
Jin Datang had never been a rash person in major matters, the kind that stubbornly resisted and just refused to adapt to the situation. He knew to act according to the situation, knew to lay low and bide his time. It was due to this that Tianle, a medium-scale company, had been able to survive for so long, even having been doing relatively well.
His domineering, arrogant attitude was only ever used on those people whom he had control over, such as the defenceless Apple who had no one to rely on. Or at least, he had believed so.
Jin Datang walked over to Shi Zhongjun who was still entertaining his guests in the hall before the eyes of all, asking him, “Boss Shi, I wonder if you’ve heard about the consecutive incidents with my company’s artistes? Can you help me out with this?”
Everyone fell silent all at once, looking at Shi Zhongjun.
Jin Datang having said this out in the open like this, his goal was to borrow the strength of all who were present to exert pressure on Shi Zhongjun. They had no choice but to form such a coalition here. Even if a number of these people had actually acted against Jin Datang as well earlier, they would still feel concerned over whether it really was Shi Zhongjun who had started it. If it was really him, were the reasons sufficient?
Otherwise, they would worry that the same fate might befall them one day.
Before Jin Datang had spoken up, they had actually been totally ignorant of the situation. They had not connected Tianle’s predicament with Tianyi and Shi Zhongjun at all, much less with that unknown young man in the room upstairs.
Shi Zhongjun smiled mildly before saying earnestly, “I just heard about it. If Boss Jin has anything that you need help with, just say it. I, and all of us here will definitely do all we can.”
Jin Datang was stopped in his tracks for a while before he directly shook his head, “Pardon my manners, but may I know who that young person upstairs is? Is he Boss Shi’s friend? As Boss Shi is the host, I believe that it should definitely be Tianyi who invited him.”
“It was indeed Tianyi who invited him. Still, I’m actually also not too clear on him myself,” Shi Zhongjun feigned ignorance, “I just know one thing, and that’s that he’s a member of Rebirth.”
Those who were able to stand here with Shi Zhongjun were all no minor figures. Even the VPs of many big companies lacked such qualifications. Therefore, as he mentioned Rebirth, it was merely a moment’s surprise that everyone felt, this surprise coming merely from the mystery that surrounded Rebirth. That was all there was to it.
It was just a band comprising students. Even though they had produced a few good songs, it was still far from sufficient to catch their eye.
And it was precisely because of the mystery surrounding Rebirth that it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing how Shi Zhongjun was unclear on that person’s background and the like.
“It’s because they cooperated with Tianyi previously. I believe that everyone should know about it. It was about two songs,” Shi Zhongjun continued, “Back then, this playful kid did not ask for a high price, instead bringing up two requests. One of them was to experience more things. It was due to this that Tianyi invited him here today. The second, it’s something that is rather awkward to say in front of Boss Shi…” Shi Zhongjun laughed rather awkwardly.
“Just say it, Boss Shi,” Jin Datang said.
“They requested that if they could find a way to make Boss Jin terminate Tianle’s contract with Apple, he hopes that Tianyi will be able to sign her. Back then, I thought-what could just a few university students do? And in some four to five years, that girl would probably no longer feel like going on with it…so I agreed to it. Boss Jin will not blame me for this, right?”
Shi Zhongjun absolved himself of all responsibility. Even if this was rather shameless and they could guess what was actually going on, there was nothing that anyone else could say about it. Also, an artiste changing their contracted company was a perfectly natural thing. Shi Zhongjun had merely been waiting. In merely waiting, hadn’t he already given Jin Datang enough face?
With this, Jin Datang was left totally unable to stand on any moral high ground.
“Then, it shouldn’t be that kid who did it. He’s not of our industry, after all. There’s no way that he could have access to all that information,” Jin Datang advanced by retreating, shrewdness underlying his words.
“Actually, you can’t say this for sure. Maybe this kid’s background is unordinary? Moreover, that girl is one of Rebirth’s members at the end of the day. Him standing up for her in a fit of youthful rashness is also possible. Boss Jin must have spoken with him before? How did it go? He didn’t say that things are irrevocable between you, right?”
This was said by the boss of another company, to which Shi Zhongjun nodded in agreement in an ‘incomparably fair and just’ manner.
Jin Datang fell silent.
What could he do now? Could he say outright: Oh, he looked for me before, but I arrogantly refused him, even arranging for Apple to perform in bars, wanting her never ever to recover. Therefore, he got mad?
These things could be done. Everyone else here had actually done it before as well. Still, it just couldn’t be said. Such would be equivalent to an admission that he well and truly deserved it.
Then, could he instead speak against Shi Zhongjun or some others present, “Stop acting! You were definitely involved in this! Even if you didn’t start it, there’s definitely parts where you tried to kick me when I’m down!”
If he lacked proof, this was definitely not something that he could say at all.
He could certainly retaliate. The problem was-who would he retaliate against?
All the responsibility had been pushed by them onto that kid upstairs.
And that kid had not shown his face, had not uttered a word. Apart from just earlier when he had come out and glanced around once, throughout the span of this entire incident, his private room had remained ever quiet, with not a single soul moving about the area.
Tianle’s VP hurriedly ran down from upstairs and whispered something into Jin Datang’s ear.
Jin Datang first shook his head, indicating that his earlier plan to probe Tianyi out had ended in failure. Then, hearing his VP’s words, an extremely shocked expression appeared on his face.
“What did you say?”
“Jianhai Province’s Dingcheng Real Estate’s Boss Zheng just called. He’s decided to forgo his investment in that movie that we’ll be filming next year. His attitude was very firm; there was no convincing him otherwise,” The VP blurted out in panic.
At this, everyone present, Shi Zhongjun included, turned unconsciously to stare at that still quiet private room upstairs, feeling greatly shocked. Influencing the decision of a real estate company had already surpassed the scope of influence and power available to the entertainment industry.
Jin Datang was rendered at an even greater loss for words. He was already unable to retaliate against any single one of those present now.
“It really is him? Who exactly is that kid?”
Xu Tingsheng’s prestige rapidly rose in the eyes of everyone present, especially Shi Zhongjun. This was something which even he had not known about beforehand. He had originally thought that in this matter, Xu Tingsheng would only be able to rely on the material that he had provided.
Those who had been kicking Tianle when they were down promptly did so even more fervently, because Jin Datang’s tragic, helpless fate had already been well and truly sealed in stone now.
A stifled him had already been punched continuously to the point of being totally unable to find his bearings.