After finding out Curly Hair was not from Muzhou, many people began to voice their thoughts.
"Such a good dog that was born for sheep herding. It is a pity it is from a foreign continent. Are there such great pastures in other continents? Are dogs loved as much in other continents compared to Muzhou?! Therefore, this sort of dog should be taken care of by the people of Muzhou!"
"Someone else's dog? Buy it! It is merely 50 million dollars. To many farm owners of large farms, this is just an insignificant amount."
But very quickly, they realized Curly Hair's owner was also very rich.
"Tsk, Fang Zhao's dog? This sucks; I heard that little fellow is loaded? He was the one that meddled with Su Hou's farm."
"Someone asked already. He is not selling."
"I just heard from a friend who does music. One of Fang Zhao's compositions went for a fee of 10 million, and that was some time back. After his global lecture tour, his fees will be even higher. What now?"
"What's an artist like him doing keeping a dog?"
The people who had originally intended to purchase the dog were dejected. What they were most unhappy about was that the owner refused to sell and had no lack of cash!
"Let's wait a bit more. There is reasoning behind not selling now. After the finals, who knows how high his value will soar. When the time comes, let's discuss terms with that little fellow. Who knows, it might work."
"But after the finals, the price will not be what we normal people can afford. You large farm owners go ahead and compete. Us medium-sized farms will temporarily back off."
"But returning to the main topic, don't we have other methods to depress its value? Wager on another dog—who knows which dog might outshine this little Curly Hair at that time, and its value would know rise much."
"Makes sense. However, in the Eastern region, which dog can beat Curly Hair? Gold Colt?"
"Gold Colt won't do; its sheep-herding performance is still lacking. We can't find any suitable in the Eastern region. Let's see if there are any in the Western region we can wager on. Otherwise, the throne of most valuable dog in the finals might be stolen by a foreign dog!"
Those farm owners discussed in private how to suppress Curly Hair. However, the ignorant audiences online really liked this dog. There were no rules that prohibited foreign dogs from joining any farm's team. This was because the Muzhou people had always believed only dogs from their homeland could herd sheep and that foreign dogs were all idiots. In this sort of competition that tested their IQ, other dogs would not keep up.
Until now, Curly Hair was the most well-liked dog among Muzhou audiences. Especially the scene of its horizontal leap where it flew. In the days that followed the competition, it was still trending on the internet. That scene fully explained what was meant by "I scare even myself when I go wild."
Therefore, on Muzhou's internet, many people liked to used "flying dog" to describe Curly Hair. They felt that the name Curly Hair was not formal enough and did not illustrate this lead dog's special characteristics. Thus, a lot of the time, they called him "Flying Dog." The best case scenario for the people of Muzhou was if someone could buy him, but even if this was not possible, everyone was eagerly anticipating Curly Hair's performance in the finals.
Over at Muzhou's side, this topic was stirred up , and even people of Yanzhou were contacted to see if they could provide a little more information. And the Yanzhou media was like a cat that had caught the scent of a fishy smell and reacted quickly.
"What? The most valuable dog of Muzhou's sheep-herding Eastern finals is a dog from our Yanzhou? A value of 50 million?! Are dogs that expensive? Oh, right, it's Muzhou. The people of Muzhou are a bunch of dog crazy fanatics."
Whatever the situation, it was time to put it on the news!
Therefore, very quickly, many people in Yanzhou caught on to what was happening.
Qi'an City district, the black street where Fang Zhao used to stay.
Yu Qing was going through his normal routine, having lunch and a cup of tea, watching the news while reclining on his chair beside the door, and being bathed by the warm sunlight.
"Muzhou sheep-herding competition? What is so strange about... 50 million? Muzhou people are really crazy. Tsk tsk, a $50 million dog... Ack! Cough cough... cough cough cough..."
Yu Qing had choked and coughed violently till his entire body curled up. The cup had been tossed aside. With great difficulty, he slowly got up and heard Ai Wan rushing over from his drug store.
"Old Yue! Old Yue! We have a big situation!"
"Have you seen today's news?"
"Are you talking about Fang Zhao's little Curly Hair?"
"Yes!" Ai Wan shuddered as he extended the five fingers on his hand. Shaken, he stammered, "Fif-fifty million! That stray that wandered into our black street for who knows how long and nearly died, that little Curly Hair has a value of 50 million! And this is only temporary. I heard that after Muzhou's whatever competition is over it will rise even more. Old Yue, 50 million dollars! Poor old me opened a drug store and doubled as a doctor. Yesterday at night, I was still treating people and only made a small 10,000, and that excited me till I couldn't sleep. But compared to this dog... I suddenly feel like owning a dog. Where in our street can I find myself a stray? I shall go and pick one up; maybe I won't need to open my store anymore!"
With thick bags under his eyes, Ai Wan shook his head vigorously, as if imagining something wonderful, and mumbled something to himself.
Yue Qing went into his shop and got an iced beverage for him. "Drink some."
Ai Wan guzzled two mouthfuls down and shivered from the ice.
"Awake now?" Yue Qing asked.
"Awake." Ai Wan dragged a chair over and sat beside Yue Qing. Sighing, he said, "Some people have luck that we can only dream about. Furthermore, Fang Zhao, that little fellow, is really capable. How long has it been? And he is so prosperous now. Fifty million and that little fellow probably does not think much of it? Sigh, back when I shaved the fur of that little dog and it spoiled my shaver. Giving a shave to a dog worth 50 million, and I shaved it all off. I could brag about this for a year! If only I had kept the dog fur from back then. Who knows, I might even have been able to sell it for quite a decent sum!" Ai Wan raised his head to look at the afternoon sun shining down on the black street and was blinded momentarily. Raising his hand to shield his eyes, he said, "That little fellow and us have different paths. He is still so young and can go much further in the future. After 10 years, who knows, we might still be staying here in this black street."
Yue Qing rarely heard Ai Wan that rueful. It seemed like the 50 million value of little Curly Hair had upset him. However, why did he not continue talking?
"Mmhm, I'm listening."
Ai Wan pointed at the sky. "Drone."
Yue Qing looked up. Indeed there was a drone from high up descending. An express delivery model. Whose house upstairs was expecting an express delivery?
"That's not right. Why do I feel that it is going to descend all the way to the bottom?" Ai Wan used his hands to block out the sun and watched the falling drone.
Yue Qing also felt the same way. At this spot, right at the bottom, was his shop.
"Old Yue, did you buy something? Or perhaps it was your wife?"
"Nope, my stock came in a few days back. Also, if I had purchased something, I would not use this sort of delivery method." Yue Qing watched it descend. This drone model had a faster speed and was steady when it transported. It was just that its freight fee was many times more than a normal drone.
"Yue Qing, express delivery." An electronic voice blurted out from the drone.
"It really is mine!"
After verifying the identity, the drone set down a case that was two meters wide and one meter tall.
When they saw the name of the sender, Yue Qing and Ai Wan made eye contact, and together, they shifted the case in and closed the door of the shop. Ai Wan urged Yue Qing to open it.
"Faster, faster, faster. Let's see what Fang Zhao has sent over!"
Yue Qing opened it and realized there were a few packages of vacuum-sealed meat products and some grains wrapped up. There were also some processed food stuffs manufactured in Muzhou. Even if it was processed food, they were made from natural crops. When sold out of Muzhou, these did not come cheap either.
Inside was a message from Fang Zhao, saying that he was in Muzhou now and had conveniently sent Yue Qing and Ai Wan some Muzhou specialty products.
"Hahaha, that little fellow has not forgotten about us! Old Yue, Fang Zhao said a portion here belongs to me. Temporarily keep them at your store. I have no storage facilities at my place. That's all for now. I'm heading back to attend to my store, I will be back later to have barbecued meat!"
Yue Qing laughed and shook his head as he watched the jubilant Ai Wan run out. They were just like this, without any big ambitions. Although they would grumble, they were easily satisfied.
Fang Zhao had not sent these to only Yue Qing and Ai Wan, who had helped him in the past. He'd also sent some to the people in the company, Second Uncle Fang's family in Yanzhou, and also to his great-grandparents.
Great-grandfather Fang happily went out to show off again. They were not lacking any of these. It was just that Fang Zhao's heartfelt intentions made them happy. Moreover, they had been paying attention to information online, and knowing that Fang Zhao was doing well made them glad.
Previously, when Fang Zhao had gone with Xue Jing for the global lecture tour, Great-grandfather Fang had flaunted to all the others at the retirement center, "My great-grandson Fang Zhao will be a great artist in the future!"
In the past, Great-grandfather Fang had hoped his descendants would all enter the military and develop, repeatedly urging them to proactively serve, and how it would be best if they would head to more arduous places to train. After all, hardship increased stature! Now, he was a little worried. Those that were sent to far off planets to mine for resources were too tough, and the people of the same batch might be impulsive or violent. All the more so for his great-grandson who could not raise a hand to defend himself. That little fellow was a man of art; if he really went to such a place for his military service, would he be able to survive?!
Thus, on the night where they received the delivery, the old couple went without sleep the entire night and discussed the best place to arrange to send their little great-grandson to serve in the military.
If Fang Zhao knew what these two elders were thinking, he would have told them: you two are overthinking things.
Muzhou's Eastern and Western region's normal competitions had all concluded. Before the finals, there would be a one-month period to give each farm a chance to recover and train.
Curly Hair and the other dogs were in the field hunting field mice. Wu Yi let someone watch over them. After the competition, they were more relaxed, and he did not restrict the dogs playing. There was a veterinarian team on standby, so nothing should happen.
Today, a slightly special person had come to the farm.
The person was an older male cousin of Su Hou's. He was around twenty years old, and after graduating from university, he had used his cash on hand to start a company, naming it "Four Elephants Foodstuff Company." Su Feng's own farm had a mountain to one side and a river on the other, and there were four rocks that were the shape of an elephant, hence the name. As for why Su Feng had come, it was to discuss business, not with Su Hou but with Fang Zhao.
Compared to the owner of Shanmu Farm, Wu Yi, Su Feng looked more like a businessman.
"Ambassador?" Fang Zhao looked at Su Feng. "Dog food?"
Su Feng wanted Curly Hair to endorse his company's new range of superior-quality dog food. In Muzhou, the market for this was quite big. People of Muzhou were willing to spend money on dogs. The fee Su Feng offered was not low either. He gave Fang Zhao a first draft of the contract, and if Fang Zhao did not agree, it could be modified.
Fang Zhao took a look. There were no issues with the contract. "I need to first take a look at your products before coming to a decision."
"That goes without saying." Su Feng took out several cans that had already been prepared and even handed over two sets of appraising notes. One was from the supervising department, and the other was from the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, where Su Hou's own brother had had a private assessment.
"I know you have your own considerations to make and I believe that a number of companies will have approached you. However, I hope you will take the time to consider our company," Su Feng said. "Actually, I have one other matter, which also concerns an ambassadorial role and is our company's main issue."
"Also for Curly Hair?"
"No," Su Feng smiled and said, "I'm looking for Polar Light."
Su Feng had come up with a plan for Polar Light. He had spent the past two years gradually pushing his company's brand out of Muzhou. The company's main business was not dog food. Dog food was just one of the many developments that the company had, and it was only focused within Muzhou. The company's main emphasis was to sell its agricultural products to other continents. However, competition was tough, and even though he was from the Su family, there was still a limit to what he could do. Su Feng kept trying to find a way, and during this sheep-herding competition, he'd taken notice of Fang Zhao, a composer from Yanzhou, and he hoped to garner the help of one of Yanzhou's three big entertainment companies, Silver Wing Media's virtual projects department.
"Virtual idol Polar Light's image is a tree, just right! Even more fitting for our concept of 'natural'."