"Just like how Wang De Evening Newspaper tries to dish the dirt on you with their articles, I'm no 'national goddess', so the only people who would like to cause me troubles are the ones who are making these nuisance calls."
Chu Feng calmly said. He sounded quite deliberate about his wordings. Between the lines, one would find that his sentences were full of sarcasm directed at Jiang Luoshen.
Jiang Luoshen's eyelid had a spasm; her snow-white forehead was crawled with black lines. "I'm gonna beat you up, you bastard!" Jiang Luoshen cursed under her breath.
The dinner no longer felt enjoyable. Every second she spent here felt like torture. News and gossips about her were constantly updating, making it all the more embarrassing for her to endure.
It has been a long day, but Jiang Luoshen had no desire for food. The sheer amount of scandals and slanders that were spreading on the internet was enough to fill her up.
Finally, the dinner was over.
Chu Feng was only too eager to leave the place, because he feared that there might be another call from Zhou Yitian.
"Why do you look like you've just lifted a weight off your shoulders?" Xia Qianyu asked.
Jiang Luoshen looked over her shoulder and gazed at Chu Feng.
"Like I said, I'm a sick man. Right now, I only wish that I can go home, wash up, read some news then go to sleep," Chu Feng answered.
The word "news" sounded very uncomfortable when Chu Feng said it; it almost felt like he did it on purpose, because these so-called "news" were nothing more than a bunch of gibberish slanders aiming to discredit Jiang Luoshen. She glowered at Chu Feng.
"Did you just say that on purpose?" Xia Qianyu said. She sounded resentful.
"What? No! Not at all!" Chu Feng smiled then walked away, but he paused after he walked a few steps. He looked over his shoulder and said to Jiang Luoshen, "Ms. Jiang, have you brought any strange soil for me tonight?"
"I'm sorry, but it seems I've brought the wrong bag." Jiang Luoshen put away the bag in the most natural way possible.
"Alright then. That's a shame, but dining with Ms. Jiang has been a real pleasure for me. I really appreciate every second I spend with you. Good night!" Chu Feng smiled and waved his hand.
"Please my a**! I tell you, this no-good son of a b*tch was putting in every bit of effort to provoke us, to make us upset! Ah! I'm about to go insane!" Xia Qianyu gazed at Chu Feng's receding figure and said with a puffed-up cheek, "Ah! What a dreadful night! What a bunch of insanity! Oh, Luoshen! I pity you so much!"
In the meantime, Jiang Luoshen's eyes were fixated on Chu Feng's receding figure too. She had grown even more suspicious. Was he the Angel Ox? If so, things really couldn't get any worse!
Chu Feng rung up Zhou Yitian as soon as he got home. Before Chu Feng could say anything, his ears were already deafened by Zhou Yitian's crackling voice.
"Brother! My dear brother! How are you! I thought I'd lost contact with you! Do you know how long I've been looking for you? Oh! You didn't have the foggiest idea how much I want to share my joy with you! Everything went so smooth tonight…"
"Joy? Smooth? I tell you what? Everything happened tonight went like a horror movie! I warn you, don't make me the enemy of the world, or sooner or later, I will throw your dumb a** into the mountain of White Snake and we'll see what joy would that bring!"
"Wow, wow, wow. Brother! Don't be like this…"
The conversation on the phone was painful for Chu Feng. There were threats as well as a bunch of honeyed words, but Chu Feng just couldn't dissuade Zhou Yitian from doing things that went out of their ways.
"Alright, alright. I will have a sense of propriety in the future. I will be responsible for my actions!" In the end, Zhou Yitian agreed to make some compromises.
Chu Feng was quite surprised, because during the call, he learnt from Zhou Yitian that some officials from the government had given Zhou Yitian strong support on the production of this movie. They believed that a documentary that recorded events as they happened was something hard to come by. As a result, the government had secretly provided many back doors for him and his film.
Chu Feng woke up in the morning. He bathed in the morning glow and practiced the special breathing technique.
Every day, he felt improvement in his constitution. He was getting stronger and more powerful, and this made him happy.
However, for the others, it might not have been so much of a happy morning.
Vajra got up early to practice his fighting skills, and he was becoming stronger recently too. If there was a strange fruit for him to consume, sooner or later, he would prove himself to be a worthy fighter against the beast kings.
However, he was in an awfully low spirit during breakfast. He finally had his hands on the latest news, but what was that? He became a worldwide sensation overnight?
The amount of over-zealous people who had thumbed-up for him was overwhelming. Oh no! They didn't thumbed-up for him; they thumbed-up for the phrase: "Vajra: the Legendary Pig-rider"!
Vajra almost flipped the table when he realized what had gathered him this worldwide fame. Who did this?! This was a heinous crime!
His name was riding the whirlwind of the internet, being the most searched term on the internet, second only to the name of Jiang Luoshen. Vajra was truly the man commanding the wind and the clouds of the internet trend on that day.
"Vajra: the Legendary Pig-rider" was a phrase too eye-catching and bold to be missed or forgotten.
"What the *&*#($!"
At last, Vajra flipped the table.
Meanwhile, Jiang Luoshen was just as irritated. She looked gloomy and glum as rage was written all over her face. She just wanted to slap across the face of that whistle-blower, whoever he was.
Jiang Luoshen was arrested in a blaze of publicity. Phrases like "Goddess Jiang: Secret Exposed" and "Three days and Two Nights" had become the top search result on the internet.
In terms of popularity, her name was looking down upon men and women with haughtiness. Being on the lofty throne felt lonely and abandoned. With only Vajra next to her, the world felt quiet and desolate.
"Ah, ah, ah…"
Jiang Luoshen went screaming. What an abominable thing it was for someone to cause her this much trouble.
On that day, the whole country went restless. Jiang Luoshen had become a hot topic for leisure-time discussion. She had been reduced to…
"How interesting! I never knew Vajra was this brave and fierce. I'm looking forward to this movie. What is it called? Oh! 'Demon Ox the Great Sage'!"
"This movie is going to be epic! Live recording of the battle of Taihang Mountains! How thrilling! I also want to see how terrifying that White Snake was!"
"Ha Ha! Poor Vajra! Poor Goddess Jiang! How unfortunate!"
"Who is the man dating Jiang Luoshen? I've heard someone saying that the man who is having affair with her is going to be the male lead in this movie!"
The internet was boiling over with all kinds of excitement. When people were taking delight in talking about Vajra and Jiang Luoshen, "Demon Ox the Great Sage" also became a household name.
This gave "Doomsday Emergence" great pressure. They doubled then tripled their investment in promotion and advertisement.
In the meantime, they were also making all kinds of publicity stunts to gain the public's attention. After all, they had a glamourous cast full of famous celebrities.
However, in terms of popularity, "Doomsday Emergence" was still lagging behind. "Demon Ox the Great Sage", on the other hand, was full of un-professionals as well as people who were disinclined to be casted in the movie in the first place, but that didn't mean that they would lose out to their competitors.
On that very day, the internet was flooded with dazzling promotions about "Demon Ox the Great Sage". There were Silver Wing, Vajra, Jiang Luoshen, Lin Naoi, White Tiger's sister Lu Shiyun, and most importantly, there were thousands of mutants in one shot, and none of this was done by special effect. Nothing was computer-generated; everything was taken live.
These were truly sensational images. It created a great stir in the community.
"Oh god! Silver Wing is so handsome!"
"Ah! Jiang Luoshen will also be in this movie?"
"Oh my goodness! Is Lin Naoi also part of the cast? She is the lady who caused such a sensation throughout the country with just a photo of her silhouette, right? She is the daughter in the family of Lin at Deity!"
"Oh man! What an epic experience this movie is going to be! Thousands of mutants; hundreds of beasts! Everything was recorded at the scene of the event! This is a hundred times better than that so-called 'Doomsday Emergence'! This is a must-see for me!"
Zhou Yitian ignited the bomb and detonated the internet.
The internet was boiling over with all sorts of discussion after film trailers were released to the public.
Zhou Yitian seized the opportunity and threw a blurry image of the White Snake on the internet. It was a fuzzy picture, but it outlined the terrifying figure of that horrific beast. The snake was huge and white. It was shrouded in the white fog, like a dragon descending from a celestial world.
Authenticity and "live recording" were the only selling points of this film, but Zhou Yitian had managed to exploit them to their full potential. There were no cheap computer-generated imageries; nothing was unrealistic or exaggerated!
So naturally, people were drawn to see this movie. Zhou Yitian succeeded in whetting the appetite of the audience, and that was the purpose of promotion.
The former staff who were working at "Doomsday Emergence" felt the increasing pressure. From the director to the actors to the production supervisors, everyone was having a dreary look on their faces. Their momentum was stopped because of this unexpected yet powerful competitor.
"Didn't you say that all they had was a bunch of extremely basic facilities? And didn't you say that they only managed to capture some very unclear images? But why does none of that seems like the case for me?!"
"Quickly! Call the person in charge! We need to do something to stop their rise in popularity!"
From that day onwards, the two blockbusters decided to meet tough with toughness against each other. They both increased their investment in promotion; occasionally, one or two unexpected stunts that were aimed to gain the public's attention cropped up here and there.
For the next few days, "Demon Ox the Great Sage" did see a few declines in popularity, but Zhou Yitian managed to turn the table on his competitors every time they tried to do something cute against him. He sledgehammered the troublemakers by dropping one bombshell after another, drawing the public's attention onto his film.
For instance, the cast of "Doomsday Emergence" went to a very popular variety show just to promote the film, catching the public's attention.
Zhou Yitian responded by releasing another set of photos. The way in which he tried to suppress his competitors was simple and crude.
In one of those photos, Angel Ox was shooting down a helicopter with just a bow and an arrow; in another photo, there was the shocking scene where Angel Ox went toe-to-toe against Silver Wing.
There was a special disclaimer for every single shot: "Everything you see happened in the real life!"
"Really? Seriously? One could down a helicopter with just bow and arrow? Wow! He is quite a valiant fighter, isn't he?!"
"This movie is a war movie, a Xuanhuan movie and a mythology movie! How amazing that is! I'll definitely go support the production team of this epic film!"
The images stirred up a surge of discussion amongst the masses!
Zhou Yitian reiterated that this film had none of the cheap, "five-cent" special effects or computer generated imagery.
The crew working at "Doomsday Emergence" was furious, because every time he stressed that nothing was a "five-cent" CGI, he put the special effects that were used in "Doomsday Emergence" under the public's scrutiny. Almost every scene put on display for the film was generated on a computer, but at times, it could seem a bit fake and unrealistic.
However, it was too early for them to give up. They launched their counterattack on "Demon Ox the Great Sage" by spreading slanders about the movie and dishing dirt on the film.
However, it was too late for this tactic to work any magic. Zhou Yitian had already whetted people's appetite, and he had already acquired his own fan base to defend the fame of the movie for him.
"'Demon Ox the Great Sage' isn't just a glamorous show of all the famous celebrity's faces. This is a true movie, a true epic film that will show you the magnificence of the battle as well as the terror of the fight. This will be an enduring masterpiece, one that will inspire many and surpass all! So, this is why we still haven't disclosed who the male lead in this film is, because it's not needed. But since everything was so enthusiastic about the film, today, I will show you, who the male lead is!"
Zhou Yitian uploaded another photo.
This was another bombshell he dropped. In that photo, a man in sunglasses and mask had taken Jiang Luoshen captive. In the photo, she looked like she was enduring some sort of humiliation.
The internet exploded as soon as he uploaded this photo. The power of "destruction" that this photo caused was massive and boundless!
"Isn't he the mysterious male who was having lunch with Jiang Luoshen on the other day? Oh my goodness! He is the male lead?!"
"This guy must have had some strong backings! Someone who could make our Goddess Jiang devote her heart and soul to must be extraordinary!"
The internet was boiling over with excitement again!
Jiang Luoshen was boiling over too! But with anger.
She had never thought that this photo would be leaked to the internet. How horrid!
This photo was taken by that disreputable man when she was coming to blows with Chu Feng.
In the meantime, Ouyang Qing the Clairaudient was boasting online, taking all the credits he deserved for taking this photo.
Anger took hold of Jiang Luoshen.
"That bastard really did act in a movie!"
She suddenly began to see the light of everything. "And the movie is no other than 'Demon Ox the Great Sage'!"
Jiang Luoshen was furious. She had been deceived and cheated on from start to finish. "What an abomination you are!" Jiang Luoshen cursed at Chu Feng under her breath.
She rung up to Chu Feng and said, "You bastard! I see! You're so good at acting, aren't you? But who do you think you are? Huh?! How dare you fool me like this?!"
"Fool you? I've never fooled you. Since the very first day we met, I've been saying that I was the male lead of a movie. You're the ones who chose not to believe me," Chu Feng said.
Jiang Luoshen was at a loss for words as she quickly hung up the phone. Chu Feng was right. He had been boasting about acting as a male lead in a movie, and they were at fault for not believing him.
"What other secrets do you have? Don't tell me you are the man behind the mask of Angel Ox!" Jiang Luoshen was reminded of his identity as soon as she hung up the phone. She spoke between clenched teeth. The affairs between her and Angel Ox had become too tangled up to unravel, so if he were indeed the man behind the mask, things would become even worse than its already was.
Xia Qianyu was astounded as well. "So, what this lecher had said before is real?" she mumbled to herself. Most importantly, the movie he took a role in was a fierce competitor against the one she was in. Somehow, the two became enemy in every facet of life!"
"Demon Ox the Great Sage, you scum!" Xia Qianyu screamed.
Time flew. The two movies were about to be screened.
Both parties had taken the actions to beat the other one down, but fortunately for Zhou Yitian, he had the support from the government; otherwise, his film would probably never see the light of day.
Lin Naoi had seen the news too. She was speechless. Even she herself had been set up by these people. She was going to be acting in a role in this low-budget movie? How absurd!
Vajra and Silver Wing were both equally shocked by this.
As for Jiang Luoshen, she decided to defend herself with legal weapons. She and her team were prosecuting the film crew that were working at "Demon Ox the Great Sage", because she had never agreed to be part of this film. They were infringing her portraiture rights.
It became especially harder for her to dismiss this from her mind when she was reminded that Chu Feng was going to be the male lead of this movie. Anger had taken a hold of her.
However, her assistant told her that relevant departments had written a formal letter to her in wish for her forgiveness. She would receive an appropriate amount of remuneration for being a part of this movie, but she must support this movie.
For a movie to receive such endorsement from the government was unprecedented and historically unique. Even Jiang Luoshen was astounded.
"Oh my goodness! Does that mean I'll have to appear on screen with that bastard in this movie?!" Jiang Luoshen could also foresee the tremendous sensation that this would cause. Before long, she would be the number one top search on the internet once again.
Lately, Chu Feng had been keeping low-key about the matter. He didn't want to be seen in the public, because right now, he was at the point where the going was the toughest.
He couldn't say with certainty how he would be received by the public once the movie was screened, but there was one thing that he was certain, and that was that his life would never be the same.
On the day before the premier of the two films, people were all on the edge of their seats. Success or failure hinged on this one day.
Needless to say, the cast of "Doomsday Emergence" was full of influential people. Every move they made excited the citizens of this country.
At this critical moment, Zhou Yitian couldn't afford to be careless either. He dropped another piece of movie still on the internet. In the video, there was a black yak speaking in human language; besides the yak, there was also a clear shot of the White Snake.
"This is not some 'five-cent' special effect. Everything is real. Do you know who this black yak is? He is the legendary Demon Ox!"
Zhou Yitian made a solemn statement.
On that very day, Zhou Yitian also revealed a spoiler. He said, "Although Demon Ox the Great Sage isn't a story about Demon Ox, this black yak still has an intricate role to play in the film. He would set forth a love story that would move our audience to song and to tears. Demon Ox came thousands of miles from the Mountain of Flame to the Mountain of White Snake just to see the White Snake fairy whom he had been so secretly admired for a thousand years!"
When this bomb was dropped, the internet was not the only place where people became sizzling with excitement. The Mountains of Kunlun, too, exploded!
Under the influence of Yellow Ox, every beast and bird at Kunlun Mountains had acquired a communicator for themselves. Occasionally, they would surf the internet and see what was happening in the world outside. As such, soon, every beast happened to know about this piece of breaking news.
"Wow! Black Yak, not bad!"
"Our Brother Black is pursuing Fairy White? You're such a valiant beast! Hope you'll find your happiness."
The Black Yak was yet to set off for Vatican City. Anger took hold of the Black Yak when it heard about the story. What on earth happened? The yak quickly went to look for more details online.
At dusk on that day, the earth was shaken by the incredible bellow of Demon Ox: "F*ck! Goddamn it! Zhou Yitian! I'll skin you alive!!"