World Hopping: Avenge Our Love
First Published on Chaleuria
The managers in the entertainment industry were thunderstruck. Their shock wasn’t because Song Yucheng had tried to steal their celebrities, but because he had done so in such an audacious way. Anyone with a brain would understand that Song Yucheng wanted to maintain his status as an elite manager. It was impossible to turn nobodies into B-listers in a month — a fool’s dream, so the obvious solution was talent poaching.
Some people had also predicted that there would be a lot of people rushing in to take advantage of the damage done to Double Universe after Luo Tong was taken down. Song Yucheng, too, would definitely seize this opportunity. What they had not expected, however, was that he would post such an advertisement on Weibo. Was he really not doing some sort of comedy routine?
“Yo, Xie Qianchen was quiet for two years. Did he go train the thickness of his skin or something? He’s going way overboard now!”
“How is this manager behaviour? He’s leaning on sensationalism, and doing business like he’s on WeChat.”
“There’s no way! I mean, looks at his situation now. He has no celebrities under his wing, and it’s unknown if he has any resources. There are even rumours about him in the industry. He did take down Luo Tong, true, but I wouldn’t dare to go to him if I were a celebrity.”
Practically everyone thought that these methods of Song Yucheng’s were as laughable as a little child playing house. The development later though, made people scratch their heads. What they found even weirder was that this unprofessional recruitment actually succeeded. The people he did manage to get were a little strange themselves, and were a group who, to the eyes of the masses, were weirdos who wouldn’t ever truly get popular.
Luo Tong’s scandal had left Double Universe in low spirits.
The company used to be a hive of activity before the scandal, and the celebrities people managed to spot in the company building always looked bright and full of life. Now, however, everything seemed to be covered in gloom.
Half of the high-level executives were being investigated too, and the public relations department was practically destroyed. The managers in charge of celebrities were in no better shape. The newbie managers were barely able to scrape their way out of blame. Long-term managers like Luo Tong were all classified as key suspects for investigation. The activities of the celebrities these managers managed also came to a halt because of this. Many people had also hurried to the company to check on the situation.
Voices of anger rose when they found out how bad the situation was.
This was also human nature.
Luo Tong had been an elite manager after all. Whatever his methods were, his name alone had drawn many newbies to him. Though Luo Tong liked to start rumours and manipulate public opinion to make stars, he had been successful in making many celebrities A and B-listers. The smaller celebrities under his management were great in number too, and there was no counting them.
This was why they had become unwanted goods after Luo Tong’s fall from grace. Even if nothing was wrong with them, they had the stain of Luo Tong’s name on their records, and their own reputations were in trouble. There was also the repeated questioning from the police. No matter what the reason for going to the police was, a public figure going repeatedly to meet with agents of the law was not a good thing.
“It’s like we’re all sinking in bad luck now.” A group of celebrities sat sadly together, sighing. They were in an open practice room. They were not newbies either — most were B-listers. Two of them had even been slotted to become A-listers in the next review. Their careers had been on the rise when the big scandal in Double Universe had been revealed, and they were now in stasis.
“Don’t say that. You’re fortunate enough to be able to keep yourself safe.”
“The true measure of luck is if I’ll be able to find a good ‘new home’. Speaking of which, you guys all had people approaching you, right? My assistant said that a few companies were interested in me but they haven’t decided to give me an offer.” A particularly handsome member of the group spoke lazily. The expression on his face was troubled, and thoughtful, but his tone was like he was showing off.
He did have bragging rights, though. His new song was high on the charts, and the drama he did of a hugely popular franchise was set to air soon. He was also hugely popular in a trendy niche. Luo Tong was gone, but he wasn’t scared.
This was why the rest of the group quickly concurred after he spoke.
“That’s because you’re really popular, Yu Rui. We’re not. We’d be thanking the Heavens if a decent company is willing to take over our contracts.”
Yu Rui laughed with them. He then gestured pointedly in a corner with his chin. “It’s fortunate that someone would be willing to take over our contracts, yeah. Look, we have someone here who hasn’t had anyone reach out to him!”
“True, true.” The others nodded in agreement, and their eyes went to the direction Yu Rui had pointed in.
The only one who had not spoken was this person who’d not had any offers. The young man who sat silently in a corner was Hao Yi.
His name was a little old-fashioned, but Hao Yi was a B-lister too, and had some connection to Yu Rui.
Luo Tong had arranged their debuts, and put Hao Yi, Yu Rui and another A-lister together to form a trio. Back then, Luo Tong had felt that Hao Yi’s name was quite auspicious, and seemed unique in the group they were in, so he had not told him to get it changed.
However, the other two in the group had become popular, while Hao Yi had gone nowhere.
He was just unfortunate.
Hao Yi had good looks, and a good temperament. His acting was nothing special, but he was a trained professional after all and his skills were up to par. As for why he was stuck as a B-lister… Well, the reason was rather embarrassing.
Hao Yi had not become a B-lister through his own efforts, but by taking advantage of and riding on the popularity of another.
After Luo Tong had put the three of them together and they’d debuted, they were sent to film an idol drama. Yu Rui and another person had been assigned to the roles of overbearing CEO and deeply-infatuated supporting man. Hao Yi’s role as the close friend of one of the male roles in the relationship made things awkward. The drama had become a hit, and Yu Rui and the other person had shot to fame. The albums which followed cemented the B-list status of the drama relationship pairing. Hao Yi had just been taken along for the ride. He was solo now, but he was still ranked a B-lister. In reality, his own popularity was more of that of a minor celebrity, or a little higher than that.
This was why Yu Rui and the others had looked down on Hao Yi all this while. They felt that Hao Yi had only got to where he was now by taking advantage of their popularity. They were in a situation now where everyone other than him had managed to find a way out of the trouble they were in, so they were in the mood to mock him.
“Hey, Hao Yi. We’re bros. How about I get my assistant to ask around at the two companies I didn’t entertain and see if they’re interested in you? They didn’t reach out to you, but I can help give you a recommendation.” Yu Rui’s words were polite, but his eye were full of ridicule.
“Thank you for the trouble, Brother Yu.” Hao Yi put a smile on his face but his heart hurt so bad he wanted to cry. He knew why Yu Rui was poking at him like this. Yu Rui resentful of the time when they’d just joined the company, and Hao Yi had trumped Yu Rui on all the scorecards. That was in the past, however, and popularity rankings spoke louder after their debut. Hao Yi had not become as popular as Yu Rui, so it was natural that he would be mocked.
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