Regarding a strange creature that had suddenly appeared in his territory, Curly Hair was very angry. During his time at Muzhou's Dongshan Farm, whenever any field mice, wild rabbits, or large wild animals entered the farm, He ate them up right away. Now that he saw that a strange creature had appeared in his domain, he wasn't pleased at all.
Although the thing inside the water tank looked similar to the wild rabbits it had eaten before, it had a strange, foreign smell.
However, his IQ was higher than a normal animal's, so he sounded out Fang Zhao's bearing. As long as Fang Zhao said that he could eat it, Curly Hair wouldn't show any mercy,
Fang Zhao's short sentence made Curly Hair give up all hope: "No eating."
Fang Zhao was indifferent to the matter of Muzhou's sheep-herding competition barring foreign competition dogs from participating. Even if the rules had not been changed this year, Fang Zhao had previously made up his mind not to let Curly Hair participate this year.
There was no meaning.
Curly Hair's IQ was continuously rising. Furthermore, his body had secrets and could not be compared with normal dogs. There had been no choice but to let him take part in the first year and the second year had just been for fun, but there was really no need for him to take part in a third consecutive year. It was just like an adult taking part in a children's competition; wasn't it meaningless?
He had gotten enough of the limelight already. When it was time to withdraw, it was best to do it decisively. If Curly Hair continued to remain in Muzhou, he would just become a target for more and more people, and many things might be revealed. Fortunately, Muzhou's sheep-herding rules had been changed, so Fang Zhao could borrow this excuse to bring Curly Hair back with him.
Patting Curly Hair, Fang Zhao said, "Take a look at your new kennel."
The previous kennel had been given by the advertising company when he had filmed an advertisement, but Curly Hair had torn it down. Afterward, he had been sent to Muzhou, so a new kennel hadn't been bought. After returning, Fang Zhao had once more ordered a kennel manufactured in Muzhou made from natural materials. This one was the same model as the one Curly Hair had had in Muzhou.
This time, it wasn't torn down.
Returning to his study, Fang Zhao received a call from Duan Qianji asking him whether his pieces for the concert had been prepared. Following that, she told him the recent tasks that had been scheduled for him.
"Don't forget about the two talk shows I mentioned. One is 'Prairie Fire,' the other is 'Star of Tomorrow.' Both are interview formats, so be sure to make preparations. Taking the opportunity to boost your popularity now would be beneficial for your concert," Duan Qianji said.
"Prairie Fire," which had a very strong presence in Yanzhou's entertainment circles, had had a good relationship with Silver Wing in the past year and had not publicized much negative news about Silver Wing celebrities. This was probably due to the fact that there was already an imbalance in power among the big three entertainment companies. Silver Wing had momentum that had already surpassed the other two. Thus, a few Silver Wing celebrity's interview sessions had already been scheduled. As long as Silver Wing was informed of the private questions they wished to ask, there would not be any awkward questions that would stump the interviewee during filming.
However, the "Prairie Fire" talk show was not the important point. What Duan Qianji regarded as important was the interview session with "Star of Tomorrow."
"Star of Tomorrow" interviewed mainly youngsters below the age of 30, and according to statistical data, 80% of Galaxy Supernova Award winners had appeared on the "Star of Tomorrow" talk show.
In other words, people who were invited on "Star of Tomorrow" were people they fancied and viewed as potential Galaxy Supernova Award winners. Inviting Fang Zhao meant they felt Fang Zhao had the ability to vie for a Galaxy Supernova Award!
This was also a rather good opportunity for Silver Wing.
Furthermore, the headquarters of "Star of Tomorrow" were not in Yanzhou but in Huangzhou. It was a program that had a global reach. They had had two forms: live broadcasts and delayed broadcasts, but in most situations, they chose live broadcasts.
"This time around, the program hopes that you can have a live broadcast interview. We have yet to give a reply and are waiting for you to make a choice," Duan Qianji continued.
"Then let's go with a live broadcast." Fang Zhao also knew which choice would have a larger impact, and he made preparations for any questions he might be asked.
Audiences were not stupid. Having watched so many delayed telecast programs, they knew that delayed telecasts filtered out some crucial points, so audiences were more inclined toward live broadcasts. Even if the program was longer and there was a long intermission midway through for a break and some advertisements, audiences were willing to wait.
An hour later, Duan Qianji came back with news.
"I have spoken with that side. They wish to select your study as the location for the broadcast. The other side's intention is this: generally, places like studies and offices seem private yet formal and serious. If you decide this is all right, you can make preparations first."
What Duan Qianji meant was for Fang Zhao to tidy up and remove any items that should not be seen by the public at the live broadcast location. Also, if there were any awards or medals he wished to show off, he could bring them out and display them in the background.
"Besides making preparations for 'Star of Tomorrow,' during the live interview, don't forget to mention your concert." Duan Qianji reminded him.
Fang Zhao was signed on with Silver Wing as a composer. He could work on other aspects on his own, but for the concert, he still had to discuss it with Silver Wing. However, Fang Zhao had spoken to Duan Qianji about this some time ago. The operations team had suggested striking while the iron was hot: taking the opportunity before his popularity faded to give an official announcement of his concert and start advanced ticket sales.
The planned date for Fang Zhao's concert was in August. Although it was only April now, once three or four months passed, there was no guarantee that Fang Zhao would still be fresh in everyone's mind.
By talking about the concert and announcing advanced ticket sales, it would at least help mitigate people losing interest in Fang Zhao and deciding not to purchase tickets.
On the night that the interview was arranged, Silver Wing and the "Star of Tomorrow" program team officially announced news of Fang Zhao being invited on "Star of Tomorrow" as well as the details of when the interview would take place.
"'Star of Tomorrow'? Isn't that the program that invites people who have the ability to vie for the Galaxy Supernova Award, that interview talk show?"
"It's just vying for an art award—does Fang Zhao have that ability? I feel that his works are just so-so and are not as good as everyone says they are."
"It's not for you to decide how good they are. The market does that!"
"Speaking of the market, anything too commercialized has no rights to be compared to art."
"Cough, given your salty tone, I guess you haven't been doing too well yourself?"
"Fang Zhao still doesn't really have the qualifications when it comes to artistic music. He hasn't even held a proper concert yet."
This new piece of news gave rise to a lot of discussion, but regardless of their different points of view, everyone set aside their time.
On the day of the "Star of Tomorrow" interview, Fang Zhao sat beside a round wooden table in his newly arranged study. There was another chair on the other side.
A program team staff member had already set up the equipment. Looking at Fang Zhao and seeing him nod his head, the staff member made a hand gesture and started counting down. "3... 2... 1... Action!
A projection of a youthful lady appeared on the originally empty chair beside Fang Zhao: the "Star of Tomorrow" host, Grace Qian.
Grace Qian might have seemed young and beautiful, but she was much more mature than most recent graduates. From her attire and her words and actions, she seemed like someone of class and poise. After all, she was a highly popular host of a globally broadcasted talk show and wasn't just a nice-looking flower vase.
The projection seemed very realistic. During the live broadcast, it seemed like Grace Qian, who was in Huangzhou's "Star of Tomorrow" headquarters, had suddenly arrived in the study,
Right at the start of the program, Grace Qian expertly set the mood with a lively ambiance, dispelling the originally overly serious atmosphere. The number of online viewers was increasing at an extremely rapid pace.
People in the music world and gaming circles, and other people who were interested in Fang Zhao, all came online quickly.
Grace Qian first asked Fang Zhao about his experiences in his one year of military service.
"Fang Zhao, having just returned from military service, can you briefly share with us your thoughts on your past year of military service?" Grace Qian asked with a smile.
Fang Zhao replied, "I gained a lot. It was worth it!"
Grace Qian's smiling expression did not change. She only blinked when she heard Fang Zhao's reply. People who knew her well knew that this was the reaction Grace Qian gave when she was surprised. She had not expected that Fang Zhao would really "briefly" reply. Mmhm, seven words, that was indeed brief.
Following that, Grace Qian talked about "Project Starlight." Probably because she had received instructions from the top, she praised "Project Starlight" in the interview to make it convenient for next year's second batch.
However, Grace Qian also acted appropriately and managed the time well, not making it too deliberate. She did not separate the important from the trivial. After talking about Project Starlight, Grace Qian then said, "Because of Project Starlight, we were able to see the arduous conditions of military service. I believe that everyone has seen some of the videos Kevin Lin filmed back then. Although you were taking refuge when those beasts were on the other side of the door and were extremely close..."
As Grace Qian spoke, a window appeared to the side and displayed a snippet of a video. It was a part of the video Kevin Lin had filmed during the terrorist attack.
"According to some of the videos recorded then, we know that the outpost you were at suffered numerous bombings and was then invaded by terrorists. At that time, when you knew about the terrorist attack, were you afraid?" the host asked.
Grace Qian laughed but did not ask whether Fang Zhao was speaking the truth. "When you saw those savage beasts in the game become reality, what were you thinking about at that moment?"
"Killing them," Fang Zhao replied.
"...In more detail, perhaps?"
"Completely obliterate them."
"..." Grace Qian blinked once again, her face still displaying a slight smile, indicating she understood and was still in control. "Faced with those savage beasts and battling them and facing terrorists, this is something many youngsters around your age would have a tough time imagining. When faced with that sort of situation, they would most likely be at a loss. So, Fang Zhao, how were you feeling at that moment? Would you be so kind as to share with us what happened then? After all, in the videos that Mr. Kevin Lin recorded, we have no way of knowing what happened outside."
Fang Zhao was aware that his previous words had created an awkward silence and gave off a pretentious image. However, after adjusting, he knew how to reply already. This was not a Silver Wing internal project and there were no scripted answers prepared beforehand, but he could still tackle it calmly.
Fang Zhao said whatever he could. For stuff he was not allowed to disclose, he did not say a single word.
Grace Qian also knew that the military had confidentiality agreements and she did not probe too much into certain things.
As the interview was in progress, Curly Hair, who had been sleeping in the corner of the study, awoke. In a familiar environment with familiar people, he wasn't bothered by the surrounding sounds. Now that he'd had his fill of sleep, he got up to move about.
Stretching his body, Curly Hair circled around Fang Zhao, whimpering around Fang Zhao to tell his master that he had woken up and to make his presence felt.
Probably noticing that Fang Zhao was busy with something, Curly Hair walked away after a round. He didn't leave the study but instead watched the water tank on top of the cabinet.
However, Curly Hair's round after waking up had caught the attention of audiences watching the live broadcast.
"Isn't that dog we just saw the 'golden competition dog' that compelled Muzhou to change its sheep-herding competition rules?"
"That is the golden competition dog said to be worth over 100 million? It isn't even gold in color!"
"The 'golden' in 'golden competition dog' refers to its worth, not the color of its fur!"
"The f*ck, that dog is Fang Zhao's?"
"To the brother above, isn't this old news? Does your household pay their internet bills?"
"I have seen news reports concerning it, but I didn't remember the owner's name back then. I only realized it now."
Fang Zhao's popularity on the global scale was really high right now. People who had never paid attention to this matter in the past remembered Fang Zhao's name now. They had not expected that Muzhou's rule change a while back that had been discussed passionately had been caused by Fang Zhao's dog.
During the interview, Grace Qian had already stopped asking Fang Zhao about his military service and was now talking about stuff that many people in the gaming circles wished to know.
"You have already been away from gaming for a year. Now that you have returned from military service, are you still going to return to gaming?"
"I will still play the game, but only in my leisure time. I won't be a professional gamer." Fang Zhao had just finished his sentence when a series of barks resounded.
"Woof, woof, woof!"
Separated by their screens, online audiences also heard the dog barking.
The cameraman in charge of filming slightly changed the angle of the camera so the scene at the cabinet entered the frame.
When they heard Fang Zhao say "I won't be a professional gamer," many gaming fans were feeling sorry and regretful.
"That means to say that Fang Zhao won't rush up the global individual leaderboards once again?"
"That means we will not get to see the crazy point-sweeping demon ever again?"
"If Fang Zhao gives up on the individual leaderboards, that means that Ma Xier will surely not return either. Without those two, what meaning is there to the individual leaderboards?"
But there were also other people jubilantly celebrating. Luckily, Fang Zhao wasn't playing anymore!
However, whether it was despair or delight, everyone's attention was drawn to the sound of barking. Watching the image shown on the screen, Curly hair was facing the water tank and barking.
Yet another series of barks. "Woof, woof, woof!"
Fang Zhao did not turn his head back. His gaze not deviating, he tapped his fingers on the study table.
Curly Hair no longer barked, but as before, he still bared his teeth at the water tank and paced around. Following that, he stopped. From his manner, it seemed as if he had decided to leap up.
When online audiences saw this scene, they lamented.
"Eh, that dog is so obedient. Just a tap on the table and it no longer barks?"
"I just tried the same thing on my dog at home. It continued barking even more excitedly."
"Wait a minute, your focus is all wrong. That dog looks like it is going to leap up onto the cabinet!"
"It's fine. This sort of dog cannot leap that high..."
This comment had just been posted when online audiences saw the dog in the live broadcast easily leap up a 1.2-meter-tall cabinet without even a running start.
Online audiences: "..."
Everything went haywire in the talk show's comments section.
"Brother Zhao, look behind you! Your 'rabbit' and your dog are about to fight!"
"Aren't many sea slugs venomous?"
"Some sea slugs sold as pets have their toxin glands removed. However, many wild ones are venomous. The foods they normally eat usually have toxins. These sea slugs can store these toxins for their own use. Fang Zhao got his from planet Baiji, so it probably has toxins."
"Does that mean it's not poisonous?"
"It's rumored that the poison from this sea slug caused one of Zaro's bodyguards to collapse."
"Only idiots believe in rumors!"
"Those above, that isn't the main issue right now!"
"Obviously I'm very interested in what Fang Zhao has to say, but I just cannot keep my eyes from watching the top right corner of the screen!"
"Is this dog... a scene stealer?"
"This is totally stealing the show!"