Luckily, so many things happened every day in the black street that even if anyone realized this phenomenon, they would not think about rebirth and would probably guess that someone was up to something.
Fang Zhao stored all the videos securely and then took out all of Curly Hair's pre-match and post-match inspection reports.
The post-match reports were not a good reference, as they'd had a rest-period after the competition. Fang Zhao was unable to see what changes went on in Curly Hair's body during the period of high activity and whether they were different from other dogs, but he could tell a little; Curly Hair was very healthy. When the other dogs ate random things, they would have stomachaches or other problems, but Curly Hair was totally fine.
Wu Yi had laughed and told Fang Zhao that, when Curly Hair had learned how to herd sheep in Muzhou, his constitution had improved and he had become much more robust. Despite his smaller size, when the dogs were all running, it was very obvious that this dog was different.
"He is a natural-born sheep-herding champion!" Wu Yi had said after the Eastern region finals.
But now, Fang Zhao was certain that, other than sheep herding, if Curly Hair were to learn anything else, he would master it quickly. His physical capabilities had already surpassed other dogs. Whether Curly Hair would continue to get stronger, Fang Zhao could not be sure.
As for the anomalies that had happened simultaneously for the both of them, Fang Zhao had curbed his abilities well and had not been discovered by others.
In the period that followed, most of the time, Fang Zhao was busy in the company. As the head of a department, he had many things to attend to. Fang Zhao had mentioned to Duan Qianji before, he could not go on like this forever. Back then, he had accepted the virtual projects department as there was nobody in charge and the entire matter had been forced into his hands. Now that the department had risen up, there were many people more professional than Fang Zhao to handle matters better. Therefore, there was no need for Fang Zhao to continue doing this. After he was reborn, all he wanted was to enjoy life in the New Era as he liked, not to be buried under all sorts of forms, reports, and contracts.
But Duan Qianji was worried that if Fang Zhao no longer took charge of the virtual idol department, the department would return to its original form and therefore did not agree. However, as September drew closer, Fang Zhao decided not to drag it any further.
He went to find Duan Qianji once more, this time with a resolute attitude.
This gave Duan Qianji a headache. The previous failures after failures had made her afraid. It had been so hard for Silver Wing's virtual projects department to finally succeed, and she wished for Fang Zhao to continue remaining there. However, Fang Zhao's specialty was indeed composing, not to handle all sorts of contracts, files, and the communications within a department.
Fang Zhao's reasons for transferring also left Duan Qianji very helpless: "Require heading abroad from time to time to collect materials. During September, Fiery Bird will send the gaming console over, and September is for adapting to the console. In October, he would start to play the new game. Schedule will still be fully packed."
This was the first time Duan Qianji had someone confidently declaring "playing games" as a reason for a transfer request. If it was any other person saying "I don't want to do this anymore, I want to play games," she would have sent the person packing right away.
But of all people, this had to be Fang Zhao, who had the power to fight for his freedom to compose songs at his own pace. After signing a contract with the company, Fang Zhao had indeed produced a few high-quality compositions. His deeds were all there and the company had certainly benefited. This Duan Qianji could not refute. As for gaming, tactfully put, it was just a request for leisure time or longer vacations. These were all perfectly reasonable requests given Fang Zhao's profession.
Threaten him with wages?
This would be of no use against Fang Zhao. Right now, he simply did not need money. Although Duan Qianji had not been to Muzhou, she had heard from Zuo Yu that Fang Zhao had won considerably from betting on sheep-herding competitions. Even if Zuo Yu had not said the amount, Duan Qianji could tell from his expression that, even if Fang Zhao did not work and played games for a few years, he could still enjoy an extravagant life.
"How troublesome!" Duan Qianji felt her head hurting even more.
"How about this. You will temporary be assigned as manager of the department. I will arrange for an assistant manager to handle the daily affairs in the department and you can just compose peacefully," Duan Qianji said. She had not yet thought of what position to assign Fang Zhao, but she certainly was not letting Fang Zhao leave the virtual projects department!
Fang Zhao considered for a bit. "I guess that would do."
The person assigned to be temporary assistant manager of the virtual idol department was Duan Qianji's secretary, Zhu Zhen. Zhu Zhen had always been in charge of communicating with Fang Zhao, so she somewhat had a decent understanding of the situation in the department. Now, the important matters of the virtual projects department went through Duan Qianji and the foundations had been set by Fang Zhao. Therefore, Zhu Zhen only needed to execute the instructions given and did not have too much pressure.
Regarding a new temporary leader, Zu Wen and the others did not feel much of a change. The department's boss was still Fang Zhao and they could still be at ease as before. If they really did get treated unfairly, they could still grab onto Fang Zhao. They just took this situation as if Polar Light had gained one more manager.
Once the department's tasks had all been assigned, other than a few big or important matters, Fang Zhao would no longer be bothered by trivial matters.
Fang Zhao had gone back to Muzhou to watch Curly Hair's daily training and the remaining rounds of competition.
As they got to the later rounds of the competition, the challenges became more demanding for the shepherd dogs. But for Dongshan Farm, other than Curly Hair, the other dogs were lacking, and there was a disparity between them and other teams' dogs. Hence, after the two consecutive first place finishes, Dongshan Farm only finished second in round three and third in round four.
Solely relying on Curly Hair? Whether the future Curly Hair would have that sort of capability, Fang Zhao did not know, but at the moment, there was still no way for Curly Hair to completely dominate the whole competition. He needed the coordination of the other dogs. If they did not coordinate well and could not keep up to the tempo, the teams behind could make a comeback.
On the score table, after the fourth round, Dongshan Farm's points were still the highest and they still held first place, but Wu Yi and Su Hou began to worry. The later rounds of competition were even more complicated, and their confidence had started to waver.
Luckily, in the fifth round of competition, due to an exceptional performance by Curly Hair, Dongshan Farm managed to narrowly edge into a first-place finish. It was as if one dog had spurred on the team. His speed was even quicker and had helped the other dogs share some of their burdens. The performance was very dazzling, and even people who knew just a little about sheep-herding competitions could see that the nucleus and driving force behind this team was still that little curly-haired dog. And during the fifth round of competition, Curly Hair's value had risen to 75 million.
In the rounds that followed, they did not achieve first in every round but always remained within the top three. The total accumulated points continued to lead over 2nd and 3rd.
The days of the ten rounds of competition were not fixed. Generally, there would be a round every five to seven days. In the event of bad weather, the round would be brought forward or postponed. Muzhou advocated being natural, and forecasting weather was a test to them, to adapt to natural weather and make changes.
After the last of the ten rounds of competition ended, it was already August. Dongshan still occupied first place on the score table. Although there were times when another team had the same number of points as Dongshan, and there were times when they were nearly overtaken, Dongshan Farm had managed to persevere till the end.
That day, the focus of the entirety of Muzhou was on Curly Hair, the lead dog of the champion team. Fully deserving of the most valuable dog title, his value was published on the sheep-herding competition's homepage—a new record of one hundred million!
This year, a dog that was foreign to Muzhou that looked like a pet had achieved the MVD of the finals!
In Muzhou there emerged people who vowed to buy the curly-haired dog. Even if the price now had made many people back off, the number of rich and powerful willing to pay that amount was still plentiful.
Other than the aristocrats of Muzhou, In Leizhou, Zaro's agent was shaking. Pointing at Zaro who was talking on the phone, he clenched his teeth and instructed the others. "Watch him closely! Don't let him buy that dog!"
The news of a non-native dog of Muzhou having a value of 100 million spread to all continents, especially Yanzhou. Silver Wing were trending, because under their control, when people talked about the dog, it was always "Yanzhou Silver Wing's virtual projects department manager's dog." The label, "Yanzhou Silver Wing" was used as a search term by many internet users across the world.
Wu Yi was over the moon. Su Hou, as the farm owner, was bombarded with all sorts of interviews. As for Curly Hair, after the competition ended, he received a medal followed by an official interview before being brought back to Yanzhou by Fang Zhao.
Even though it was mentioned a lot in Yanzhou's news, the Yanzhou masses purely saw it as entertainment and were not as crazy over it as the Muzhou masses.
Having just arrived in Yanzhou, Fang Zhao received a call from Duan Qianji.
"Back yet?" Duan Qianji asked.
"Did you bring Curly Hair back? Do you need me to send a few more people over?" Duan Qianji asked again.
"No need, he is back home."
"That's good." She let out a sigh of relief. She was really worried that the dog-crazy fanatics of Muzhou would have forced Curly Hair to stay behind.
"Today, a number of directors personally came looking for me, asking to let your dog that is worth one hundred million to appear in films. All of them are rather famous directors, the quality production would be higher and is worth considering. Other than that, there are also advertising companies..."
Duan Qianji had never expected that her own company would produce a dog worth one hundred million! Many celebrities had strived but never reached these heights, yet this dog that had been brought over to Muzhou by Fang Zhao half a year ago had achieved these heights.
"The information has all been sent to you. Take a look yourself; the dog is yours and its considered your personal property. The deciding rights all belong to you," Duan Qianji said. With regards to Curly Hair's situation, the company could not decide, but if Fang Zhao was willing, everyone could work together.
"I will consider it," Fang Zhao replied.
He actually hoped that the matter would cool off as fast as possible, but completely rejecting advertisements and hiding Curly Hair would not do. This would just heighten people's curiosity and make them suspect all sorts of reasons. He would accept the films and advertisement, but not too many.
After Duan Qianji ended the call, Fang Zhao received a message from Zu Wen.
"Boss, when will you be bringing Curly Hair back to the office? We all have renovated a grand residence for him!"
Under that, there were messages from the others in the department, implying he should look after Curly Hair well and not let him be stolen—one hundred million!
Fang Zhao switched off the communications device, sent Zuo Yu out on an errand, and closed all the doors and windows.
"Come here," Fang Zhao said to Curly Hair, who was running about the house.
Having been away for so long. Curly Hair was still very excited, as if he were patrolling his territory, and ran a few rounds. Hearing Fang Zhao call him, he hurried over and crouched down. However, Fang Zhao's gaze unsettled Curly Hair, so he wagged his tail to curry favor.
"You don't have to act in front of me. I know you can understand. Perhaps in the past, you only understood a little, but now..." Fang Zhao placed his hand in front of Curly Hair, watching the dog as he continued, "I believe you can understand everything."
The crouching Curly Hair became even more restless, as if he had done something wrong. He drooped his head and wagged its tail less, looking up gingerly at Fang Zhao.
"You are probably aware that you are different from other dogs. No matter what changes happened in your body, for our own safety, in the future, do not make yourself stand out when we are outside. Of course, don't act too stupid. Keeping at the current level will do. We are in the same boat, understand?