Qian Huang still had a hard time deciding for a few moments. He actually wanted to keep these things away from Xiao Ming. That had been one of the reasons why he said that he would take charge of their Weibo account and manage the community while Xiao Ming only had to appear every now and then so people would feel closer to him.
But this right now might be a little too big to not say something. After all, even if he was able to keep it quiet for the time being, it was only a question of time until Xiao Ming would check in and see some kind of vile comment that would give everything away. Then, not only would he have to deal with the fact that Misses Youya had found their channel and written something like that about them, but he would also need to deal with the fact that he had been the only one who didn’t know. The latter might be what he would actually feel worse about.
And not letting him find out … He’d probably have to confiscate his phone and laptop for that and even then, he couldn’t guarantee it. After all, their neighbors and the people on the market, they all knew what they were doing online. Sooner or later, they would also find out that there were some troubles with their career just like they had heard when Xiao Ming appeared in the press conference for ‘Golden Spoon’. It just needed one person to say a single word for Xiao Ming to find out. No, it just wasn’t feasible to keep this from him.
Qian Huang finally sighed and leaned back, shaking his head. “I’m not sick. I’m just worried.”
Xiao Ming sat down next to him, worrying himself. “Why that? Did something happen?” He still wasn’t quite sure if Qian Huang was saying the truth but he did seem serious enough. He probably wasn’t just trying to deflect but was saying the truth instead.
Qian Huang smiled wryly. “Do you know who Misses Youya is?”
Xiao Ming looked at him blankly. “Some … celebrity that you admire? Or maybe a girlfriend in the making? Are things not going well with her?”
Qian Huang furrowed his brows. “Be serious!”
Xiao Ming lightly pressed his lips together. He had actually thought that it really might be either of these two things. Otherwise, why would Qian Huang worry about some woman? He had never heard him mention one.
Li Shui looked from one person to the other, feeling that he was slowly catching on to something. “Isn’t she a blogger?”
Xiao Ming turned to look at him. “What blogger? Is she famous?” She should be if even Li Shui had heard of her. Why didn’t he know about her though? If the others were following her, they should have mentioned her some time, right? Anyway, he was already confused.
Qian Huang nodded. “She is. She’s not the kind that you’d like to know about though. She’s usually writing about celebrities and exposing their scandals. She also takes a look at people that have gotten popular online. Usually, it’s not a good thing to end up on her blog. She’ll tear them down viciously.”
Xiao Ming nodded slowly. “And she said something about a cooking blog so you’re worried that we might be the next target?” No wonder Qian Huang was worried then. With their channel slowly having grown bigger, such a thing could indeed happen. Not that he believed there were any scandals about them to find.
Qian Huang sighed deeply and then opened the link on his laptop again, turning it around for the other two to see. “Much worse. She’s already targeted us. The post was published today.
“I saw just a bit before we had to go online. I didn’t say anything at first because I was worried you would have a hard time dealing with it and the stream might go awry. I thought it would be better to let you finish first so you won’t worry yourself. In the next two days, I thought you might calm down a bit more so the next stream would not be impacted.”
Xiao Ming didn’t know what to say. He looked from his friend to the screen and then back again, finally pulling the laptop over to take a closer look at this post. He really couldn’t imagine what kind of thing there should be that could not only be written about but even make Qian Huang this worried.
His mood wasn’t calm enough to read through everything so he just skimmed the text. The further he got, the less calm he got. “This … How can she write things like that? I’ve never even met Nin Sha!”
Qian Huang looked at him blankly, wondering if that was everything he had to say to that. It definitely wasn’t the main point.
Finally, Xiao Ming leaned back, looking a little defeated. “I guess that isn’t good for us.”
Qian Huang shook his head. “Absolutely not. The reason I didn’t read any comments today until very late was not because there weren’t any but because most of them were just cussing us out and echoing what Misses Youya wrote. It really wasn’t pretty.”
Xiao Ming’s and Li Shui’s expressions fell. They had both wondered about the lack of comments but they never would have thought that the reason behind it would be something like this.
Seeing their faces, Qian Huang felt a bit bad for being so blunt. He lightly cleared his throat and hurried to reassure them a little. “On the bright side, quite a few of our longtime viewers jumped out to defend us. You wouldn’t believe it but they are surprisingly good as keyboard warriors. They beat those guys senseless, refuting every single statement. By the time stream came to an end, things had already calmed down. I’m afraid that this might have a big impact though. The problem is that there isn’t really anything we can do.”
Li Shui had also read over the article and furrowed his brows. “Why not? Couldn’t we clarify?”
Qian Huang shook his head though. “No, it doesn’t work that way. If we stand out and say anything about it, we will just seem defensive which will make people think it is true even more. Worse than that, it might make Misses Youya grab onto it more tightly in case she feels there might be even more to the story. Then, what if she publishes a second or even a third post? We would never recover from that. One is bad enough but more than that? That’d be suicide!”
“So we can’t do anything?”
Qian Huang sighed once again. “I’m afraid that’s exactly the case. The more we try to do, the worse it might get. So the best thing we can do is probably to just wait for it to blow over.”
Li Shui wasn’t completely convinced though. “What if she still targets us again? After all, Xiao Ming will soon be in the limelight when the show really starts. Or do you think they’ll terminate the contract?”
Qian Huang’s expression fell at that. Right. There was a clause in the contract that said that if they were caught up in some scandal, then it could be terminated and that they would have to pay a fine.
In that case … it would really be over. Not only would they miss out on the publicity that the show could bring them, but they would also end up in debt. At the time when they signed the contract, he had been a bit worried about it because while they were earning more money now, it wasn’t to the degree where they could just snap their fingers and pay such a huge sum. Even if they used all the money they had, it wouldn’t be enough. This was something he didn’t even want to think about.
Qian Huang rubbed his face, not sure what to do. “Maybe I shouldn’t have signed the contract.”
Xiao Ming shook his head. “Don’t say that. You couldn’t have known that this Misses Youya would do something like this. At the time we got the offer, it seemed like the best we could ever hope for and a scandal wasn’t likely at all.
“Also, right now, it isn’t clear yet whether they will really want to terminate. It could be that they think this is just a petty issue. After all, this is a national TV channel we are talking about here. To them, this might not be a big thing. In any case, you have also seen how dismissive the producer can be of things going on online. He might not take it seriously.”
Qian Huang just sighed. He really hoped that Xiao Ming was right but he couldn’t really imagine it. In any case, while they might have been the first choice, that didn’t mean that they were the only ones available. At this point in time, it might be easier for the production team to just switch to somebody else.
That way, they wouldn’t have to bother with anything going on around them. Their scandal would’ve gotten some publicity for the show and after that, they could switch in somebody else to make sure that they wouldn’t be associated with the talk of dirty under the table deals.
It would probably be the best way to go about things from their perspective. As for what happened to them … he didn’t think they would care about that for even a single moment. These guys weren’t running a charity. It was all about making the highest profit.
Xiao Ming reached around Li Shui and patted Qian Huang’s shoulder. “Don’t think too much. So far, nothing has been lost. I’m sure that they will also wait for a few days first to try and see how things go. If it really blows over, I don’t think they’ll do anything. After all, that would draw more attention to it as well. It would be better for everyone if nothing else happened.
“So, let’s just wait and see. And even if it doesn’t work out … We will pull through. Haven’t we always done that? Losing one opportunity is nothing. Even if it’s a big one, others will come. We will somehow make this work.”
Qian Huang nodded. “You’re right. Well, at least our longtime followers have stayed on board with us. I think that’s the most important. The new ones … I guess we’ll be able to do without them. It would’ve been nice though. Things were just looking up.”
Xiao Ming laughed. “Well, I guess she wouldn’t have bothered to write that kind of post if things hadn’t looked up. When you’re small, nobody will take the time to discredit you. You need to grow into a big channel to achieve something like that.
“Let’s just focus on that: We are good enough now that some gossips online want to tear us down. Isn’t that also some kind of achievement?” He smiled and got up, starting to put things away. “Anyway, is there something special the two of you want to eat tomorrow? Then I can start preparing already. I’m sure some good food would cheer the two of you up.”
Li Shui immediately turned toward him, his eyes glittering. “Don’t you think we would need some cheering up today? How about making a midnight snack for us?”
Xiao Ming reached over and poked his shoulder. “You, ah! I guess we should be happy that you’re not the one who will have to be on camera. If you always eat like this, you’re going to get fat.”
Li Shui patted his stomach that didn’t look like he was eating all that food the whole time and then looked up at Xiao Ming. “I think there’s some more space in there.”
Xiao Ming just laughed and then nodded. “Well, how could I starve my two silly sidekicks? I need you to be energetic for the next live stream as well.” He smiled and then actually went to look through the ingredients they had at home to see what he could make for them.
Qian Huang stared at him, not quite sure what he was supposed to think of this. He had worried so much only for Xiao Ming to actually be the one to cheer them up. Somehow, he indeed felt a bit useless now.