"I trust that Tangning will lay out a new path for me, because that's how amazing she is," Xia Hanmo did not doubt this at all. "Plus, I did this for the sake of justice."
Seeing the confidence on her face, Zhou Qing let out a laugh, "Since we're both unemployed now, may I invite Miss Xia to a casual meal?"
Xia Hanmo naturally nodded her head.
The two selected a relatively hidden restaurant to eat in. But...as soon as Xia Hanmo sat down, a two-year-old slipped into a nearby fountain. Although the water was shallow, the child began to cry.
Xia Hanmo watched as Zhou Qing immediately rushed over and sweeped the child up in his arms. At this time, a rich lady ran over in a panic.
"Baby, are you OK?"
Zhou Qing glared at the woman angrily, "Your child is still small. I suggest you don't let him leave your sight again."
The woman was a little surprised as she carried her child away.
This was the first time that Xia Hanmo saw Zhou Qing's emotions being triggered.
"Do you like children a lot?" Xia Hanmo asked as Zhou Qing sat back down.
"Not particularly," Zhou Qing replied gently before he changed the subject.
Of course, Xia Hanmo could immediately sense that Zhou Qing was a person with a story. On the surface, he appeared friendly and took good care of the people around him, but in reality, he was very cautious of people.
But, Xia Hanmo did not try to dig up his secrets.
It was easier to get along with him this way.
Soon, Tangning received news that Xia Hanmo had caused a scene at 'The Big Adventure'. Of course, she expected this to happen. If Xia Hanmo actually stuck it out and continued on the show, then she would have been a disappointment.
There was one thing that Tangning had to admit: she had deliberately set this trap. Apart from wanting to see if Xia Hanmo was worth her efforts, the reason why Tangning didn't tell Xia Hanmo beforehand was because she wanted Xia Hanmo to give a realistic reaction.
And reality proved that Xia Hanmo was indeed worthy of being a part of Superstar Media.
As someone that suffered slandering for an extended period of time, Xia Hanmo was someone that was cautious about everything she did. But, from now on, Tangning wanted to turn her into someone that would no longer allow herself to be slandered.
Previously, during the flood incident, the public had already been reintroduced to the real Xia Hanmo once. This time, it was the perfect opportunity to reinforce this new image.
The Station Manager's son thought that Xia Hanmo was someone that had not established a solid footing in the industry yet. Since she dared to slap him in the face, he decided to take a photo of his swollen cheek and post it online. He wanted to use this incident to slander Xia Hanmo as well as create the image of a victim for himself.
...Superstar Media was only one step behind. As soon as he posted up his photos, Superstar Media released an official apology on behalf of Xia Hanmo stating that she had accidentally lost control...
But, the public believed that the difference between a man throwing a slap and a woman throwing a slap was that men did it to cause trouble, whereas women did it because of retaliation; she must have been bullied so badly that she had no choice.
So, Superstar Media's swift apology further proved the public's speculation: Xia Hanmo definitely suffered immense bullying.
"Firstly, Zhou Qing was forced to leave. Afterwards, Xia Hanmo was caught hitting someone. I'm certain this happened because of a huge internal disagreement at the television station."
"It wasn't easy for Xia Hanmo to rebuild her popularity. I don't believe she would hit someone for no reason."
"That television station is completely shameless. Rumor has it that they are planning to give 'The Big Adventure' a facelift as well. Let me declare it now: we are not going to watch 'The Big Adventure' if Zhou Qing isn't in it!"
"Let's boycott their channel!"
The Station Manager's son did not expect that his photo would receive so much backlash. In fact, every single comment was detrimental to 'The Big Adventure'. If one was to look at the incident with Zhou Qing, this young man was a thief to begin with. But, not only did he not keep a low profile, he even offended him out in the open.
So, Tangning didn't just make this move so that 'The Big Adventure' would be boycotted, she also did it to put public opinion on Zhou Qing and Xia Hanmo's side.
But, of course, this wasn't enough. Tangning was someone that planned much further and deeper...
So, she gave Zhou Qing a phone call in private, "To turn the tables, the enemy may claim that the two of you have a 'special' relationship, or slander you in other ways. Zhou Ge, you've been in the industry for long enough, I'm sure you know what to do."
Zhou Qing was a smart person, so he immediately understood Tangning's hint.
Therefore, early the next morning, the news articles reported that Zhou Qing had been fired, but his mood was unaffected. In fact, he was seen having dinner with his family. On top of that, old news resurfaced about how he was previously caught strolling the streets hand-in-hand with a mysterious woman.
Meanwhile, Tangning arranged for a famous social media influencer to cut and paste together a short video of Xia Hanmo's interviews where she had stated that she was single.
This way, even if the television station tried to create a rumor, no one would believe it.
The young man was stuck, but the Station Manager knew exactly what was happening. So, he called his son into the office to teach him a lesson.
"The fact that you were so lofty about joining 'The Big Adventure' wasn't a huge issue. But, why did you cling onto Zhou Qing and Xia Hanmo and not let them go?"
"Pa...aren't I allowed to teach a couple of artists a lesson?"
"Zhou Qing was not an issue. After all, he's accumulated a lot of contacts over the years, but he hasn't matured. But, how dare you provoke Xia Hanmo? Do you know that everyone is scolding you at the moment?" the Station Manager slammed his hands on the table angrily.
"But, all I see in the news is gossip about Zhou Qing..."
"You're too young and naive. You still don't believe me? What you see isn't merely gossip, it's precautionary action against our slandering!"
"He's not making any complaints or putting up a fight. He left the show casually and went off to spend his spare time with his family and girlfriend. If you try to stir up trouble for him, people will only view you as heartless, ungrateful and ruthless!"
"So, that's enough. Simply focus on doing a good job with 'The Big Adventure'. I've handed the entire show to you, so stop tormenting others. If you truly want to win against Zhou Qing, then you should show the world what you are capable of."
The Station Manager was furious. If his son was even half as understanding as Zhou Qing, then he wouldn't have to worry so much.
But, this rascal had no brains.
The fact that he took over 'The Big Adventure' was already a big enough blow to Zhou Qing. Yet, he didn't know how to be satisfied.
"You just wait and see, I'm going to make you view me in a different light."
The Station Manager didn't have high hopes for his son. He simply hoped that he'd advance at a stable rate and that was already enough for him.
Soon, it was time to film the new episode of 'The Big Adventure'. Although the show maintained its high quality with the help of the production crew and they even invited a big-name guest, without Zhou Qing around, the show lost its original essence. Did the young man think that the audience was stupid?