SWFM 236

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Chapter 236: Her inner voice

 

Apple pondered for a long time regarding the authenticity of the termination agreement, yet it was not only she who was currently feeling conflicted.

Yet, it was for a different reason that the others were feeling conflicted. They suddenly realised that this actually wasn’t something to be envious of. It wasn’t anything good-how many people struggled diligently and painstakingly, hoping beyond hope to be able to renew their contract?

Therefore, this really wasn’t something to be envious about. They would probably be on the brink of tears if someone were really to place a termination agreement before them like this.

People always tend to judge others by their own systemic logic as well as standpoint before coming to a self-obsessed conclusion which they believe unquestionably in and try to force upon others as they believe that everyone else should also be thinking along the same line.

This was especially so as they now found Apple indeed hesitating for a long time over signing the agreement.

“What, can’t bear to anymore? Weren’t you all holier-than-thou just now?”

“Look at her! She was still saying just a moment ago that she’s come to terminate her contract. But now that Boss Jin is really letting her terminate it, she’s instead stunned silly and all dazed.”

“The way I see it, she actually came here to apologise and beg for Boss Jin’s forgiveness in the first place. Let’s see how she intends to clean up this mess now! Do you guys think anyone else might still be willing to sign such a disobedient artiste with all the commotion that she’s caused?”

“Exactly! Whoever would want a person who was even abandoned by her own former band?!”

Amidst the din, a Tianyi VP, a refined, authoritative-looking man in his forties known as Shao Jun walked over in this direction. At such an occasion, he represented Tianyi, a place that all these aspiring artistes could only ever dream about.

Some who would claim to be rather well acquainted with Shao Jun were in the midst of greeting him.

Sometimes, being acquainted with someone and being able to exchange words with that person is itself already a method of raising one’s status.

Shao Jun reciprocated their greetings with a smile on his face. This caused quite a few people, Zhou Yonghen included, to feel rather proud of themselves.

“Did you come downstairs for something, Boss Shao?” Zhou Yonghen asked.

“Yes, I’m here to look for someone,” Shao Jun said.

“Who is Tianyi’s VP looking for?” This area was generally composed of Tianle’s people, most of whom were new or third-rate or worse artistes. There seemed to be no one here who was worthy of him coming down personally. The sole possibility in this case was Zhou Yonghen, but judging from their conversation, Shao Jun clearly hadn’t come down here to look for him.

Amidst a great many curious, expectant gazes, Shao Jun walked over to the still dazed Apple.

“Hello, Miss Apple. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Shao Jun from Tianyi.”

While Shao Jun might not be especially well-known by the general public as a VP of Tianyi, his name carried immense weight in the industry.

He was one of those whom Shi Zhongjun trusted and relied on the most, being a figure who possessed considerable authority in Tianyi.

As the person Shao Jun was looking for was Apple who who had just received an inexplicable agreement, the onlookers began speculating, feeling that the truth of the matter might finally be coming to light now with something being asked of Apple ‘in return’.

“Now this makes sense. Who would have helped her out for no reason at all?”

Some were waiting to see how Apple would react, waiting to see her make a fool of herself. Would she continue pretending? Or would she immediately discard her ‘masquerade’, next scrambling at this chance to attain greater heights?

However much they were actually feeling envious and jealous in a matter such as this, they would inevitably still jeer at and look down on Apple here.

Discussion was immediately rife once more in which neither scorn nor mockery was absent.

While Apple could ignore these people, there was no way for her to be impervious to her own inner voice. She was indeed feeling afraid, afraid that she might have gotten into some major trouble. She was still just a young girl at the end of the day…unless Xu Tingsheng was there beside her.

Yet, she…just did not want to bring Xu Tingsheng any trouble right now.

A nervous Apple stood up and asked uneasily, “Hi. May, may I ask why you are looking for me?”

Shao Jun smiled, explaining, “It’s like this. On behalf of Tianyi and Boss Shi, I officially invite Miss Apple to join our Tianyi Entertainment Media. This is the contract. You can carefully look through it. If there’s anything that you’re dissatisfied with, we can discuss it and have it altered afterwards; there’s no rush here.”

Shao Jun placed two copies of the contract on the table in front of Apple before sitting down and patiently awaiting her decision.

This was not the sort of treatment that a new artiste would usually be given by someone of his status.

Still, Shi Zhongjun had already made up his mind about this earlier, with the whole of Tianyi having decided to give sufficient face to their new shareholder, Xu Tingsheng, making use of this chance to properly establish a solid relationship between them.

Tianyi’s higher echelons, Shao Jun included, naturally wouldn’t have a problem with Shi Zhongjun’s decision. One might say that Xu Tingsheng was their future ‘brother-in-arms’, sharing the same battle trench as them alongside all their weal and woe.

Moreover, they all had quite a good impression of Xu Tingsheng, believing him to be worth making friends with.

They should all support one another when they could, with every bit of goodwill accrued being valuable.

This was why Shao Jun had personally come to attend to Apple, even acting in such a way that should actually be beneath him in doing so.

With this, everyone, especially those who had been speaking earlier, fell utterly silent. They dared not look one another in the eye for fear that the words which they had just said would come back to slap them in the face.

If it weren’t for the fact that Tianyi’s VP was currently sitting and talking right in front of them, with the actual contract laid out right there on the table for all to see, all of them would have believed themselves to be mistaken about what they had just heard, or to be witnessing the narration of a fairytale. Everything was just so surreal.

Perhaps they too had once fantasised about being invited by a company in such a manner when they had first dreamt of becoming celebrities.

Those had simply been mere fantasies, however.

Apple herself was momentarily stunned as well before she asked rather panickedly, “Hi, I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused right now. I don’t understand what’s going on. Can you explain things to me for a bit? I don’t think I know anyone from your company.”

Shao Jun thought for a moment, “Hmmm, even if you ask me, I really don’t know what I should say, or if I’m even allowed to say it.”

Here, Shao Jun could not help but smile. He was indeed unable to understand what Xu Tingsheng’s intentions were in not having revealed himself even at this point. Logically speaking, if he wanted to give his little girlfriend a surprise, now would be a good time.

Xu Tingsheng was actually waiting for Apple to make a choice from the very bottom of her heart. Without his presence interfering with things, she would be better able to listen to her inner voice.

Looking at Apple’s worried, confused expression, Shao Jun considered for a moment before he eventually said, “Anyway, please trust in the sincerity of Tianyi and Boss Shi, Miss Apple. How about you take a look at the contract first?”

With him having put it this way, Apple could only sit down and take a look at the contract. On one hand, she couldn’t really reject the other party’s goodwill just like this. On the other, she was also feeling curious as to its contents.

That was just how it was. Everyone else aside, even Apple herself was feeling overwhelmed by curiosity as the events of that night became more and more inconceivable.

Apart from that, she also felt great fear. The smoother things went, the more inconceivable it felt, and the more worried and fearful Apple became. She did not know who it was who was helping her, did not know what it was that that person might eventually be requesting of her.

After she had finished looking through the contract, her fear had endlessly magnified manifold.

This was a contract which barely restricted her actions at all. That was to say that Apple would virtually only be receiving the company’s support and services, not being subject to any form of restrictions. She would be able to decide on matters like promotion, commercial performances, albums and concerts etcetera all on her own.

As for the scale of the support provided to her by the company, it was virtually comparable to that provided to Tianyi’s top-tier artistes.

This contract provided to her by Tianyi was actually the result of Xu Tingsheng’s discussion with Tianyi’s management. He wanted to provide for Apple a contract that allowed her the greatest possible freedom. If she wanted to sing, she could sing to her heart’s content. If she did not want to sing, nobody could force her do it…

She could disappear anytime she wanted, reappear anytime she liked.

When he had drawn up this contract, Xu Tingsheng had considered two people, two states of being. One was that of Cheer Chen, while the other was that of the later Faye Wong.

At that moment, Apple found that her fear aside, she was actually feeling very drawn to the idea.

Once, she had thought that it was just for Xu Tingsheng that she was doing all this, just so that she would be able to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with him.

Then, she had lost herself, lost Apple.

Now, the two contracts on the table seemed to show her a different her, a different Apple. Also, such an Apple was one whom she admired and liked.

If one is able to admire and like themselves, that is actually the greatest happiness and bliss in this world.

At that moment, Apple heard her own inner voice.


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