Long Jie shrugged her shoulders; she too did not understand the rules of this new industry.
To speed up the process of finding the truth, Mo Ting instructed Lu Che to contact the owner of the web novel site and asked them to provide them with proof. Although the other party wasn't a big empire like Hai Rui, they still had their legal documents in order and quickly pulled out their files from 3 years ago. The officially stamped contract for 'The Tracker' proved that the novel did exist 3 years ago. This was solid evidence.
"President, all signs point to obvious plagiarism and the other party have already provided us with proof. Elder Wu's script is undoubtedly plagiarized."
Mo Ting looked at the slightly yellowed contract and read through the contents in detail before he threw it aside.
"You still want to investigate?" Lu Che asked. As Mo Ting lifted his head, Lu Che touched his head nervously, "What I mean is, shouldn't we think of a way to remedy the situation instead?"
"If I try to remedy the situation before I've determined the truth, I may attract other problems. Hai Rui will only end up slapping themselves in the face."
Mo Ting lead Hai Rui, but he never allowed anyone to use cheap tricks just to achieve certain motives even though good and bad often crossed paths in the entertainment industry.
"What if the result of our investigation is still the same?"
"There's bound to be a flaw."
Why was he so confident? Because he personally picked this script from a pile of other scripts. When he took the script to Tangning, he had already done his research; Hai Rui never allowed plagiarism. So, where did 'The Tracker' come from? And how did it actually have a contract as proof. Mo Ting found it extremely odd.
What an interesting situation.
However, time didn't seem to allow for slow progression. After the plagiarism scandal escalated, the author of the web novel finally stepped out to speak. He had hired a lawyer and was ready to put through a copyright claim.
He even described Hai Rui as a big shark that could swallow a small fish like him alive. So, he had to quickly clarify the situation to avoid future troubles. This was the only way he could recruit the masses to monitor Hai Rui and keep them under check.
He actually called Hai Rui a big shark!
Furthermore, he demanded that Hai Rui act accordingly and stop protecting the screenwriter. Not only did he ask for compensation and an apology, he also told them to ban the screening of 'The Lost Relative' in all theaters, claiming that this was the only proper way to deal with the situation.
As he was a victim, his every word sounded reasonable.
All of a sudden, he seemed to have spoken the thoughts of every single author in the nation. All the authors quickly gathered to boycott 'The Lost Relative' and demanded that Elder Wu provide a public apology.
At that moment, every single piece of evidence pointed towards Elder Wu being a plagiarist. All of a sudden, it felt like no one could prove his innocence.
Elder Wu felt angry and wronged. Faced with the public's inability to differentiate between right and wrong, he ended up falling ill.
"Hurry out here and apologize! Stop being a chicken!"
"This screenwriter had many good scripts in the past, I never thought he'd make a mistake like this. Has he perhaps exhausted his talents?"
"Regardless, I think all plagiarists should self-destruct on the spot."
Seeing the comments online, Elder Wu's family did not dare to notify him of it. All they could do was sigh amongst themselves.
Meanwhile, Tangning hurried over to visit the old man after she heard he had fallen ill.
"Miss Tang, you didn't need to come here. This was not your fault. Plus, you're about to give birth. This is very dangerous for you," Elder Wu's wife exclaimed. "My old man has been honest his entire life. I can't believe someone has decided to frame him. I will never believe that he plagiarized anyone. On the other hand..."
"...my grandson actually called his grandfather shameless during dinner yesterday! If it was someone else, I wouldn't have minded as much. But, tell me, at his age, how is the old man supposed to handle all this?"
After hearing this, Tangning could only try her best to comfort the old woman, "I trust in Elder Wu, so I have not given up on clearing his name. I feel honored to have acted out his script."
"Miss Tang, thank you."
Tangning shook her head. In reality, she felt quite guilty inside, because she had a feeling that the entire incident was targeted towards her and Elder Wu was just a convenient chess piece.
Tangning did not question who the culprit behind the entire mess was. Apart from Song Xin, who else could it be?
Firstly, Song Xin was the only one with such a deep grudge towards her, and secondly, Song Xin was an author; she naturally understood how web novels worked.
However, Tangning still needed solid evidence.
So, that day, after visiting Elder Wu, Tangning returned home and locked herself up in the study room to read the entire 540,000 characters from the start...
But...Tangning did not anticipate the seriousness of the matter. Under the harsh pressures of the internet and the distrust and misunderstanding from family - on the third day of the incident - Elder Wu wrote out a will and overdosed on medicine to attempt suicide. Although his family discovered him on time, the excessive amount of medicine resulted in brain damage and threw him into a coma which he had yet to wake up from. Meanwhile, the doctors warned that even if he was to wake up, the damage was serious and may result in dementia.
But, even at this point, the internet still claimed that he deserved it and that it was right for him to attempt suicide due to guilt. They even wondered why he hadn't just died and ended things cleanly.
"Ridiculous! The internet these days is frightening. The old man has already been pushed to this extent, yet they are still speaking nonsense. I feel bad for Elder Wu..."
After hearing Long Jie's opinion, Tangning slammed her hands loudly on the table. Long Jie quickly covered her chest in fright; this was the first time she had seen Tangning throw her anger. Tangning's emotions were never written on her face.
"Let me have some peace..."
Long Jie understood that Tangning was in a bad mood, so she nodded her head and quietly retreated out of the study room. Just as she was about to turn around and leave, she discovered Mo Ting's tall figure standing in the doorway.
The savior had arrived!
"I heard," Mo Ting replied calmly. "You can leave, I'll take care of her."
"OK," with Mo Ting around, Long Jie felt a lot more assured. Now that things had gotten to this point, no one wanted to see the current result.
A moment later, Mo Ting pushed open the door. As soon as he saw Tangning sitting at the computer desk at a loss, he strode over and sweeped her into his arms, "You are almost a mother, don't you know how to analyze the situation and react accordingly?"
"Ting...I can't seem to find an answer this time. I really can't find it..."
"You're just flustered. It's not that you can't find it," Mo Ting comforted as he held her in his arms. "This is the state that your enemy wants to see you in. The more you blame yourself, the happier she will be."