translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
The successive actions of 061 and Cheng Jian pushed Chi Xiaochi all the way to the top of that week’s charts of the livestreaming platform.
Su Xiulun had also taken the initiative to contact Chi Xiaochi, asking if he wanted to seize the opportunity to do some further promotion and ride on his current wave of popularity.
With Cheng Yuan’s talent and his family background, as well as the backing of Su Xiulun, he naturally had much more say in his own decisions than the other singers under Xingyun Entertainment. How else would the decision of whether to promote fall to him?
Chi Xiaochi acted as the “cute little newbie” Cheng Yuan, and hesitated for a long while.
Finally, he expressed euphemistically, “Just don’t make it too overblown. This livestream was originally just meant to be a thank you to my fans, so if you stir it up too much, the taste will change.”
Su Xiulun let out a sigh of relief.
If Cheng Yuan had stubbornly insisted on staying on his high horse and persisted in not wanting to go along with the promotion, then he wouldn’t be able to help him.
Only like this would the company re-evaluate the worth and subsequent treatment of Cheng Yuan.
The record market was extremely cruel. Those who chose to walk down this path of music but weren’t able to withstand the realities of the business, or rejected the business side of things altogether, would only end up being abandoned by the industry.
……Fortunately, Cheng Yuan had his priorities straight.
In accordance to Cheng Yuan’s wishes, the major forums and social media platforms didn’t get overly involved, and there was just a wave of praise for his singing skills from a few sufficiently reputable music-related marketing accounts.
There was no end to the stream of hot gossip on the internet. This round of promotion for Cheng Yuan was just Xingyun Entertainment testing the waters. The responses they received weren’t bad, but in less than a day, the popularity of Cheng Yuan’s livestream was overshadowed by other scattered snippets of news.
A week later, Tang Huan’s new songs were released on various big music platforms. At the same time, a variety of soft marketing texts, which had long since been drafted, sprung up . Tang Huan’s Weibo cover picture was replaced by a new, special cover, even stamped with a special logo designed for her fifth anniversary.
Compared to this momentum and all-pervasive promotion akin to a prairie fire, the heat Chi Xiaochi had struggled to produce a few days earlier wasn’t even enough to boil a pot of water.
The internet-wide release of Tang Huan’s new songs was set at 9am sharp.
The time was fast approaching, but Chi Xiaochi unexpectedly didn’t seem too interested, only lying on the bed and performing the daily tasks set by his card game.
061 asked, “Not going to go listen?”
Chi Xiaochi shrugged, “I’ll hear it sooner or later, no hurry.”
Out of curiosity, 061 became one of the first people to hear Tang Huan’s new songs.
A few minutes later, 061 suddenly realised, “This……”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t even bother looking up from his game, “Uh-huh.”
061, “These aren’t the songs Cheng Yuan wrote.”
Chi Xiaochi was focused on playing, “I told you that a week ago.”
“They sound a lot like the songs you sang on the livestream.”
“They are the songs I sang on the livestream.”
061, “But why did Yang Xiaoyan steal these?”
Chi Xiaochi controlled his card heroes as they utterly crushed their opponents. This kind of game that didn’t require any technical skill, only requiring strategy and tactics, could be said to be incredibly friendly to people with disabled hands like him.
He said, “Liu-laoshi, I’m a victim. You shouldn’t ask me why she stole the wrong thing, you should ask why she had to steal them.”
Moments after his words fell, the word Victory filled his screen. The rank of the ID of “Terrace’s Reflection Enters the Pool” rose up by one, jumping to first place on the leaderboard.
Chi Xiaochi threw down his phone, “Ha, after abandoning it for so long, I finally snatched back first place.”
In a good mood, he stretched out his body and said, “As long as she stole them, as long as she sold them, as long as they were used by Tang Huan, all she can do now is wait for death.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Some people, upon seeing this, went to look it up, and one after another, expressed that they really had been given a shock.
This time, Tang Huan’s fans were unable to let this go, and one after another, came down to battle.
“Are you guys deaf? How is it similar?”
“Just having a few similar notes is considered plagiarism now? We’re not carrying this pot!”
“Doesn’t Love Me, China sound like Hallelujah!? You guys can even use these kinds of coincidences to try and blacken someone? Calm down!”
Yundu Entertainment was also one of the first ones to hear about this.
When he first heard about this matter and before he heard the songs, Tang Huan’s producer, Zhong Yu, had thought that it was just someone purposely bringing up false charges and sent Tang Huan a text to reassure her, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing, right now most of what’s on the internet is just people making trouble, it’s no big deal. The publicity leading up to your fifth anniversary was managed really beautifully, there are inevitably some people who will be jealous of you.”
However, when he searched up the video of Chi Xiaochi’s livestream and listened for not even half a minute to the clips that had specially been pointed out as having been plagiarised, Zhong Yu’s face gradually turned green.
Pushing back the fearful shaking of his heart, he clicked on the next song and listened for another minute.
Even though the melody had been fine-tuned, someone of Zhong Yu’s level of professional expertise could tell that Tang Huan’s version was simply a transcribed and reproduced version of the songs Cheng Yuan had sang during his livestream!
Even worse was that the handsome young man holding the guitar and singing in a clear voice had singing skills superior to Tang Huan’s by at least two levels! It was a difference that could even be heard by the average layperson!
How did this happen?
Tang Huan’s music had been in production since long ago. Why were they revealed in a livestream seven days earlier?
Was their audio source leaked? Or was it a problem with the person who’d sold the songs?
The matter of buying and selling songs had long since become an unspoken rule in the music business.
Tang Huan wasn’t actually an excellent songwriter, nor was her singing voice top-notch, only about average at best, but her stellar looks indeed bestowed her with exceptional commercial value.
There was no lack of commercial singers like Tang Huan in the circle, but outstanding composers were really as rare as the feathers of a phoenixes and the horns of unicorns; their numbers could be counted on one’s fingers.
Tang Huan was in the position where she wasn’t able to reach the sky, but wasn’t willing to touch the earth. She couldn’t reach the level of a truly outstanding composer, but wasn’t willing to resign herself to being second best.
Afterwards, Yundu began to promote her as “a woman bestowed with the gift of music”, claiming that she had written most of her songs herself, while actually using songs that had been bought from all over the place to pad out her image as a talented woman of music.
For this fifth anniversary EP, they’d bought the two main songs at an extravagant price, as they had been composed by celebrities. The other three songs had all been carefully picked out of the songs that had been bought by the company and specially adjusted to fit this theme of transformation.
The most important point was that the composer column was entirely filled with “Tang Huan”.
The producer lost his temper, “Check, check this up for me! Who sent in the two plagiarised songs! Find out exactly how this happened!”
As soon as this incident was made public, there were so many people pinging Cheng Yuan’s Weibo, begging for an explanation, there was no way for Chi Xiaochi to not have seen it.
Quickly, he posted a message.
Faced with an endless sea of questions, Chi Xiaochi didn’t directly answer a single question, but only gave a concise and comprehensive five-word answer.
“……Keeping an eye on it.”
Putting down his mouse, Chi Xiaochi started to twirl a pen around his fingers.
Twirling pens was one of his specialities. In the beginning, he’d gone out of his way to learn it in order to better fit in with the image of a character he was acting as. He could twirl a pen in more than twenty different ways, forming a thousand shadows and a hundred shapes, smoothly and freely.
061 already had a rough guess of Chi Xiaochi’s plans, “You set this trap for Yang Baihua when you were still staying in his house.”
Chi Xiaochi corrected, “To be exact, I started setting this trap for him from the moment we first met.” He added, “Think back to what I said to him when we first met, after we got onto the car.”
061 flipped through his record library and was astounded.
At the time, the two of them had talked about the matter of going to the train station to pick up Yang Baihua’s parents.
Yang Baihua had been intentionally avoiding this and was in a bad mood.
Chi Xiaochi, who was driving, had naturally steered away from the topic, saying, “Then I’ll play my new demo for you. You’ll be my first listener, how about it?”
His attitude was far too casual, so casual that 061 hadn’t noticed the problem until now, looking back on it after the fact.
The instrumental music that Chi Xiaochi had played wasn’t at all either 《Innermost Words》, 《Love You》 or 《Autumn Thoughts》, but rather the song he had sung during the livestream seven days ago!
061 didn’t understand, “From when you entered the task world to when you and Yang Baihua met, it hadn’t been more than a few hours. Where did you get these three songs from?”
……Could they have been Cheng Yuan’s past works?
Chi Xiaochi’s attitude was utterly indifferent, “I copied them.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “At that time, I didn’t have enough time, so I directly downloaded the instrumental versions of those three songs, and played them for Yang Baihua to listen to; afterwards I used Cheng Yuan’s abilities to do a simple adaptation of the those three songs, and sent them to Yang Baihua.”
Yang Baihua had repeatedly heard those songs over those few days, so he naturally thought that those three songs were Cheng Yuan’s newly-written demos.
061 still didn’t understand, “So why did you have to use such a roundabout method?”
Chi Xiaochi stopped twirling the pen, pointing it at the computer screen. On it, was the statement Yundu Entertainment, Tang Huan’s studio, had issued 1 minute ago.
Since it was urgent, Yundu Entertainment naturally came out with a statement unusually quickly.
Tang Huan’s studio first apologised to Tang Huan’s fans, then immediately made its attitude on the matter clear, saying that the matter was currently under investigation and that there was a possibility there might have been an audio source leak.
This excuse of an “audio source leak” was really a good one, as it changed Tang Huan’s role in the matter in an instant, turning her from a plagiarist to a victim.
Chi Xiaochi stroked his chin, “Oh, Yundu still wants to keep up Tang Huan’s image as a talented woman.”
061 said, “First hold back public opinion, then when they’re ready, they can slowly start public relations. But how can they confirm that it’s definitely an audio source leak and not something else?”
Chi Xiaochi smiled, “Of course, it’s because they’ve contacted Yang Xiaoyan.”
In an instant, everything became clear to 061.
……Having been misled by Yang Baihua, Yang Xiaoyan, as far as she knew, had stolen Cheng Yuan’s original demos.
As long as she could get Yang Baihua to hold back Cheng Yuan, no matter how much the stream of dirty water twisted and turned, in the end it would still end up spilling onto Cheng Yuan.
Chi Xiaochi said, “……But, who said that the songs that I spread must definitely be my songs?”
In his post on Weibo about the giveaway, he mentioned that the songs he was giving the fans were songs that he revised, so please do not use it for commercial purposes.
Of course, he’d never said that these songs had been written by him, nor did he say that they hadn’t been written by him. The right of final interpretation had, from the very beginning, always been on Chi Xiaochi’s side.
Chi Xiaochi said, “……Do you want to hear about my plan B and plan A?”
061 couldn’t help but laugh.
This enthusiastic appearance of Chi Xiaochi’s, was really very cute.
He replied gently, “I’m all ears.”
“Plan B was that I would let Yang Xiaoyan copy Cheng Yuan’s songs,” Chi Xiaochi said. “When the situation erupted, it would become a contest between the two big companies, Xingyun and Yundu. With Xingyun and Cheng Jian supporting me from behind, it wouldn’t cost me very much.”
Chi Xiaochi paused, “……But if I did this, who exactly copied who, would become a permanently unclearable account. Of course, this would also have its benefits. In this era of the internet, where we depend on ‘clicks’, we aren’t afraid of scandals. We’re afraid of having no talking points. If we used plan B, Cheng Yuan and Tang Huan would probably be bound together from then on, when mentioning Cheng Yuan, you would have to mention her. As an unknown new musician, being able to climb up using Tang Huan, being mentioned in the same breath as her and appearing on the same screen, from the point of view of many others, would be Cheng Yuan’s good fortune.”
061 shook his head.
Doing this would indeed tangle everything into a confusing mess.
“But in my plan A, Cheng Yuan would be thoroughly removed from the matter. He wasn’t the one who plagiarised, and neither was he the one who was plagiarised. He just happened to adapt a few songs, which just happened to be stolen by Yang Xiaoyan, and like that, just happened to end up involved in this plagiarism dispute. His songs, his person, are all clean and free of scandal. ……And oh right, and also freeload his own share of popularity.”
061 couldn’t help but laugh, “Really very good. It’s just missing a little something.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “What’s it missing?”
061 said, “……Copying someone else’s song and dragging an uninvolved party into this mess isn’t very good when all is said and done.”
“In my plan, there aren’t any uninvolved parties,” Chi Xiaochi pointed the pen at his temple, “……Do you remember, in Cheng Yuan’s story, there was still another person who played quite an important role?”
Chi Xiaochi reminded 061, “That diehard fan of Tang Huan’s, who chased after Cheng Yuan while scolding him and pushing the public opinion to its climax, do you remember him?”
061 was stunned.
“Even though he depended on being a poison-tongued marketing account to become popular, in any case, he happened to be a musician in the past. Do you think it would be hard to find some decent, but not very popular songs from his past works from a few years ago?”
Chi Xiaochi precisely threw the pen into the penholder on the table, resulting in a soft clanging sound, “……Having his own works being plagiarised by his own idol, do you think he would feel honoured or angry?”
Not long after his words fell, Cheng Yuan’s phone began to ring.
Chi Xiaochi laughed, “Xingyun’s PR response is a little slow this time. I thought they would contact me half an hour ago.”
He picked up the phone, instantly becoming a soft little white rabbit shocked out of its wits, “Hello, Mister Su. En…… en, I saw the Weibo. I was keeping a close eye on it. Please hear me out, the songs I sang during the livestream were adaptations of the songs of a big V account on Weibo. I also don’t know why it ended up copied in Miss Tang Huan’s new songs……”
Yang Baihua received Yang Xiaoyan’s call on the way to work.
Seeing the two words “Yang Xiaoyan” appear on the screen, Yang Baihua became a little restless.
Recently, when he saw his family members calling, he would often think of what Cheng Jian had harshly demanded of him, then think of Cheng Yuan’s gentle, harmless smile, and would begin to feel an incredible sourness in his heart.
……Xiao Cheng’s phone must definitely have been confiscated by his family, and he must have been put under house arrest, or else he would definitely have done his best to come up with a plan to meet him.
He remained distracted for a few seconds before finally answering the phone, “Xiao……”
Yang Xiaoyan’s cries suddenly came through the phone, giving him a fright, “Ge, ge!”
Yang Baihua’s expression changed slightly. He stood up from his seat, phone in hand, and quickly made his way over to the break room, “What happened?”
Yang Xiaoyan sobbed incoherently, stomping her foot anxiously, “……Didn’t you say Xiao Cheng-ge’s songs hadn’t been, and weren’t going to be published? Now the company’s looking to me for answers, what do I do? What should I do?”
The author has something to say:
Scheming Chi: Being mischievous makes me happy
sere: these shits esp xiaoyan getting what they deserved
baum: I love how Chi Xiaochi picks up on things quickly and takes everything into account haha