August 5, the first Saturday of the month.
At 6 p.m., there were already many reporters stationed in the vicinity of Golden Age.
Their target wasn't Fang Zhao, nor were there truly concerned with the quality of Fang Zhao's pieces. Today, they were stationed here with the motive of catching any celebrities attending the concert!
Silver Wing was not a reputed entertainment company for nothing and had done everything to reap the most benefits. For example. Silver Wing had gotten their well-known celebrities to generate buzz for the concert today, using the concert as an excuse to stir up news and let their celebrities show their faces.
There was a red carpet covering the twenty or so meters of road at the entrance. It could be said that before the concert started, this would be their showcase.
Outside the concert hall, the place was glistening with stars. Even if only a portion of Silver Wing's stars were here, it was enough to send those entertainment reporters into a frenzy. There were also other celebrities—first-, second-, and third-rate celebrities, and even celebrities who were not much better than the average person—with all sorts of reasons and purposes for attending. Nearby, there were fan groups of certain stars making themselves heard as layers and layers of security personnel watched on.
The concert had not yet started, but pieces of entertainment news erupted in succession.
There were Silver Wing's official announcements, which were more reserved:
"On the red carpet in front of Golden Age's main doors!"
"He Lisi and other Silver Wing celebrities strike a pose!"
There were others, such as "XXX's stunning red carpet attire" and "XXX beauties on the red carpet." One look and it was obvious that the companies behind them were taking the opportunity to hype up their own artists.
Besides the film stars, there were also members of the gaming team. Silver Wing's side had already made preparations for Jinro and the others.
There were also people from other continents who had no intention of stirring up anything themselves. For example, Ma Xier, who, not wanting to run into any reporters, had entered Golden Age through another entrance. His purpose was the concert, not to generate news about himself.
However, those wanting to keep a low profile were but a small minority. Zaro belonged to the category that loved the attention and limelight everywhere he went.
Dressed in a suit of the same style that nobility of the Old Era wore and with his air of haughtiness, he still seemed rather intimidating. On the twenty-meter red carpet, which would take 30 seconds to cross, Zaro stopped after every two or three steps to strike a pose and let reporters snap till their heart's content.
After finally entering the doors, Zaro's haughty and intimidating air dispersed in a flash. Impatience showing on his face, he asked his agent, "Why hasn't that idiot arrived?"
Zaro's agent calmly answered, "I just checked. She has arrived in Qi'an City and is currently changing her outfit."
"Her and her trifles!" Bored, Zaro went online and watched Silver Wing's live broadcast of the red carpet outside.
Noticing there were still many people talking about him in the comments section, his gaze skipped through those negative comments about him and focused on the comments that praised him, making him feel pleased. Who cares about those celebrities? Look, this is the charm of the great Zaro of Leizhou!
After Zaro had entered, the reporters outside could no longer take photos of him, so they discussed in private. "This Zaro is indeed really pretentious. If I did not know what he is normally like, perhaps I would have been fooled by that image he projects."
But before everyone could continue discussing Zaro, an even more pretentious person than Zaro appeared.
A pumpkin car full of individuality, a gorgeous princess skirt, and the gait of a noblewoman. She was even toting an umbrella.
The moment the silhouette of this person appeared, immediately, reporters diverted their attention away from other celebrities and all focused on her.
"The one from the Lakalina family?"
"She's also here!"
This was simply an unexpected surprise!
Entertainment reporters got even more excited and frantically snapped away.
But when Zaro saw the comments section being flooded with comments about Barbara, he fell into a bad mood and grumbled, "It's already dark, what's she doing with an umbrella? Idiot!"
Indeed, many reporters had misgivings about this. The weather over the past few days had been fine. There was no rain and it was night now, so what was the point of an umbrella?
But in the next moment, everyone knew the answer.
Barbara lifted her hand, and the umbrella automatically opened. On the umbrella were a bunch of glittering gemstones that were blinding.
The mass of reporters: "..."
So it was an umbrella spotlight!
Indeed, it was dazzling enough. Nobody would sparkle brighter than her tonight. Perhaps she would be on the headlines of news being published later on.
Zaro was discontented and groused, "She's cheating! She actually brought equipment!"
His agent stood to the side and kept his silence.
After Barbara stepped into the main doors, Zaro grumbled, "Did you not have dinner tonight? You are walking too slowly!"
This time, because Zaro had invited Barbara to the concert, he had booked a VIP booth and so went in together with Barbara.
There was still a distance to go from the main doors to hall no. 1, and a short distance away from Zaro and Barbara, an entertainment reporter who had purchased live tickets was waiting to secretly snap some shots. When he spotted Zaro and Barbara walking together and they apparently seemed to be talking, his eyes lit up in a flash.
Look! What have I managed to catch!?
Indeed, a costly live ticket was indeed worth its price.
Over at that side, Zaro had found the VIP booth he had booked. Before a concert began, every VIP booth was in a sealed mode, providing an even more private space, making it convenient for guests to talk before the concert started.
Zaro was mulling over how to talk to Barbara about the black mark in his history, while Barbara was being fussy and looking through the song list and information about the composer. All she knew about Fang Zhao was that he was really impressive at playing games and creating waves during his military service. She did not know much about Fang Zhao's achievements in the music world.
Zaro's agent sat in the corner browsing the internet, looking at who else might show up today. Some people were already present but had not given any notice that they would be coming. He had seen a few special people entering through another entrance and was wondering if his eyes had been playing tricks on him.
As he refreshed, more news appeared. As he looked at the contents at the top, his hands trembled.
"Shock! Lei, La families to be joined by marriage?"
"Zaro and Barbara appear at Golden Age Music Hall, seemingly intimate!"
"New romance? Zaro with industry beauty, yet he does this..."
Zaro's agent looked up toward Zaro and saw Zaro's facial expression change as he was browsing the news. In his heart, he thought, It's over. He is going to explode.
Indeed, in the next instant, Zaro shot up as quick as lightning. "My *ss! Seemingly intimate? Are their eyes full of sh*t!? And even joined by marriage? Who said all this? Investigate! Daddy will sue them till their pants fall off!"
Barbara had also seen the news—her assistant had forwarded it to her—and she looked as though she had just stepped in poop.
Zaro no longer wished to talk to Barbara about the black mark in his history. He had not yet resolved that black mark when even worse news had appeared and now he had flown into a rage.
Now he no longer wanted to sit with Barbara and listen to the concert anymore. The thought made him angry. Thinking back, surely he had walked too close with Barbara when they had entered, and they had been photographed by those idiot reporters who were making up stuff.
"Go book another booth!" Zaro shouted at his agent.
Zaro's agent felt his head ache. "Live tickets were already all sold out early on. There aren't any surplus VIP booths either."
Zaro raged on. "I don't care! Spend a little more and get the neighboring booth to scram!"
Zaro's agent wasn't willing to do so. Would people who were able to book a VIP booth care about that little bit of money? Furthermore, there might be people of influence in Yanzhou. As an agent, an employee, would he dare to smash money in another's face to get them to leave?
Besides, this was in Yanzhou. They were not in control over here. It wouldn't be good if news of this broke.
But a red mist had descended on Zaro as he read through the news. Seeing his agent using all sorts of excuses, he waved his hand. "Stand aside, I will do it personally!"
Zaro took large strides over to the neighboring VIP booth and pressed the bell.
His agent advised against this. "Senior master, this isn't appropriate!"
Zaro once more brushed his agent aside. "How is it not appropriate? I know you don't have much guts, so stand aside!" Seeing someone open the door of the VIP booth, he no longer bothered about his agent. With a confrontational tone, he said to the bodyguard that had opened the door. "You all..."
Just two words had come out from his mouth when Zaro stopped as if somebody had suddenly tied a noose around his neck and strangled him. He had seen the crest displayed on the breast pocket of that person.
It was the crest of the Interplanetary Fund, and it was not just a general crest. It belonged to the internal department of the Interplanetary Fund, which held an even higher status.
Zaro was a spoiled brat and normally did not act reasonably, but he could actually discern clearly which sort of people he could afford to offend and which he could not. Furthermore, he was very clear that his family had beneficial ties with the Interplanetary Fund. Now, under this sort of circumstance, stomping on the face of the Interplanetary Fund was no different from sabotaging his family's business. If he returned, he would definitely be in trouble, and even a severe beating would be considered a light sentence.
At the present situation, Zaro knew to be prudent.
Thus, when Zaro saw the crest, even using the little IQ that he had to weigh the pros and cons, he was terrified.
"You all... good evening. I hope you enjoy the concert, hahaha!"
After a few awkward laughs, Zaro turned around and returned back to his room, no longer possessing the brashness he'd had a few moments ago. Compared to offending people he couldn't afford to offend, Zaro decided to endure the humiliation and share a VIP booth with that idiot Barbara. What was the worst that could happen? He could just pretend she wasn't there!
Zaro's agent's face had turned ghastly white at that instant. He had been worried that Zaro would have met the Interplanetary Fund's personnel head on. Luckily, Zaro's brain wasn't entirely mush, and Zaro had stopped in time.
Wiping off the cold sweat on his forehead, Zaro's agent thought to himself, Indeed, those special people I saw before were from the Interplanetary Fund. I didn't see wrongly. However, if the higher levels of the Interplanetary Fund are actually here, Fang Zhao is really an impressive person!
Fang Zhao had no idea what was going through the minds of those people present in the audience. At the moment, he was replying to messages.
"We have already arrived. Don't bother about us. Concentrate on your preparations." This was what Great-Grandfather Fang had sent.
Zuo Yu and Yan Biao were fetching them, so Fang Zhao was at ease.
There were also other people he was familiar with who had sent him messages, including Ji Polun who had just graced the red carpet and had sent a message to Fang Zhao after entering hall no. 1.
"Brother Zhao, you can do it!"
"Best of luck. Hope everything goes smoothly!"
Before the concert, there were Silver Wing personnel to receive the guests. Fang Zhao did not need to do anything.
Old Xue Jing had also arrived with some of his old friends. He even specifically came backstage to see Fang Zhao. He only left after he saw that everything was going smoothly and there were no abnormal situations.
The Silver Wing personnel in charge of backstage arrangements saw Fang Zhao sitting over there in silence and came over. "Everything is in order. Just follow the plan and everything will be fine. Don't worry."
Although there was no need for Fang Zhao to perform, he still needed to give a thank you speech during the opening sequence of the concert. The Silver Wing personnel was worried that Fang Zhao would freeze up when he went on stage. That would be quite awkward.
Fang Zhao replied to a message and looked up and smiled. "I'm really not nervous."