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Kneel to Me

Chapters List

Chapter 42: Second Arc [5]

【Without evidence, are we just going to convict someone based on Jiang Mi's words? Is she a judge?】

【Song fans, stop struggling in vain. The production team has recordings; isn't Jiang Mi afraid of being exposed if she lies?】

【Heh, it's as if recordings can't be edited.】

【?? Are you insane? Suspecting the production team of distorting the truth? If the production team distorted the truth, how could the previous episode reveal Song Juyao's past in the previous season and gained so many fans for her?】

【Who knows whether the program crew chose not to edit or couldn't edit the previous episode.】

【I believe what Jiang Mi is saying, or else why would she withdraw from the show?】

【There are so many people with twisted values. She did well in the previous season only due to favorable circumstances.】

【Favorable circumstances in the previous season? You motherfu**er, try it yourself to see if it was favorable or not?】

The live chat room was filled with bloodsheds, as real-time interaction here stirred more intense emotions, leading to heated exchanges. People argued fiercely, and even numerous betting companies jumped on the bandwagon with "Jiang Mi vs. Song Juyao" betting options. Betting on Jiang Mi outnumbered those betting on Song Juyao by a large margin, making it seem like Jiang Mi had the upper hand. After all, Jiang Mi couldn't possibly be lying, or why would she have dropped out before the live broadcast even began?

Behind many betting companies were influential individuals as shareholders, and when they saw so much money on the line, they couldn't help but salivate. They impatiently wanted to call the production team and urge them to release the recorded footage.

However, before they could even make those calls, the production team took action on their own.

When another window screen suddenly appeared in the live chat room, the viewers were stunned, but they were thrilled when they soon realized that the production team was indeed playing a recorded video.

【Heaven, the program team suddenly???】

【Looks like the production team does listen to people. They regained a bit of my good impression.】

【Hahaha! Song fans, get ready to cry. The production team is here to expose your idol. Are you happy now?】

【Where are the Song fans now? Don't you dare make a sound, ah? Hehe!】

The sudden playback of the recorded video did shake the confidence of those who had doubted Jiang Mi's words. After all, the production team and Song Juyao were at odds, and by releasing the video amidst such a heated debate, it seemed like they were impatient to prove themselves. Except for those who had already made up their minds to believe in Song Juyao even if their heads burst open with blood, the rest hesitated to speak out.

"Finally, they shut up. A bunch of idiots! Why couldn't they have stanned someone else? Instead, they stan a murderer!" Jiang Yaoyao said happily.

Jiang Yaoyao was a little bee (xiao-mifeng - fan of Jiang Mi). Sharing the same last name, she felt even more affection for Jiang Mi. She considered Jiang Mi to be intelligent, sophisticated, and elegant—a role model she aspired to be like. She was engaged in fierce online battles with those defending Song Juyao, until her eyes were bloodshot from the intense arguments and she even broke one of her keyboards in the process. Now, with the production team releasing the video, she joined in the celebration along with all the fans, throwing digital flowers everywhere.

【The production team is amazing! I guess there's a big shot in the production team secretly crushing on our Mimi, right?】

【Must be! Why else would the production team suddenly do this? But the person who can give orders to the production team must be part of the nobility right?】

【Heavens! It's indeed our Mimi! Her charm is boundless!】

【It's great. Song fans, get ready to cry!】

【It's starting! It's starting!!】

【Awww, Baby Mimi from her childhood is so cute!】

【The little angel people talk about is her! Compared to her, Song Juyao looks really ugly, like a monkey!

【Hahaha, she really looks like a monkey!】

In Jiang Mi's several huge fan groups, her fans were enjoying their moment of triumph. They were puffing themselves up while watching the videostream and simultaneously discussing and ridiculing Song Juyao in the group chats. The comments were flooding in rapidly. However, gradually…

【...Isn't there something off here?】

【I suspect the production team edited it maliciously!

【Malicious editing…?】

The recorded video covered three years of time, which wasn't particularly long. Firstly, the time was sped up in the video. Secondly, the system automatically skipped unnecessary scenes, such as the time period when all the real NPCs and the NPCs around them were in a "no activity" sleep mode. These notifications were displayed in the upper right corner, and the production team couldn't do anything sneaky there.

Moreover, some professionals were watching too, and they could tell whether the production team had edited the footage. But faced with numerous questions from the audience, these professionals came forward to confirm that the production team had not edited it; this was the original video.

Comments in the lively fan chat rooms gradually slowed down as an indescribable awkwardness began to permeate the chat boxes.

Similarly paying attention to the plot unfolding in the recordings, Tan Wei's expression gradually stiffened. His heart initially sank but was soon replaced by a rising anger.

Was this what Jiang Mi meant by Song Juyao being deviously cunning and scheming??

【???】

【Song Juyao, scheming? Am I blind for not seeing it?】

【??? This plot is nothing like what I imagined. Weren't they hyping up that Song Juyao would be a terrifying child in a horror movie? Where's her cunning? Where's her malice? All I see is Jiang Mi's malice.

【I can only say that Jiang Mi's acting is really good, she disgusted me.】

【Sorry, I accidentally put myself in Song Juyao's shoes, I was so angry.】

【Please don't equate the character with the actress. Jiang Mi is just playing the role assigned by the production team, and she's a celebrity judge. It's her job!】

【Song Juyao is a genuine child in this. But Jiang Mi has the soul of an adult. Can she do these things without feeling uncomfortable? She even thought of pouring boiling hot water on Song Juyao in the middle of the night. That's truly malicious!】

【Jiang Mi is a celebrity judge, pushing Song Juyao into adversity is her job, other guests also did this. Why is she being cursed now?】

【Other actors haven't come out later to slander the judged party! Song Juyao committed a crime, but criminals still have human rights! They can't just be slandered without reason!】

【Jiang Mi's acting skills? Seriously? Anyone who is not blind can see the cunning and calculation of an adult that occasionally appears between her brows! I can see Song Juyao as a child because her eyes really look like those of a child. But I can't possibly see Jiang Mi as a child! She looks scary, like a dwarf pretending to be a child!】

【When Song Juyao helped the old man push his cart and ran away without asking for money and another adult stopped her from giving him money—I cried. Such a heartwarming scene.】

【Song Juyao is such a poor little thing. Her disappointed eyes after a failed adoption were so heartbreaking, I just wanted to hug her.】

This is precisely why programs like this usually start broadcasting when participants are adults. Children being mistreated can easily evoke sympathy from the audience. Celebrity judges usually don't enter during such times because they can't bring themselves to harm children or deal with them harshly. Broadcasting it could also impact their own image.

It can only be said that Jiang Mi was too greedy before. She took it for granted that the program team would definitely edit the footage and help her cut the black into white, so she acted unscrupulously. However, she never expected that, on this day, the production team would play the complete, unedited recording.

The public felt greatly disturbed by her actions and developed a strong disgust towards her.

Especially later on when the disgusting couple, from which the man having pedophilic inclination appeared. Jiang Mi, knowing about it, still excitedly pushed Song Juyao into the fire. This made people furrow their brows in disbelief.

【This is what Jiang Mi said that Song Juyao pushed her out?】

【As a Jiang Mi's fan, I've changed sides. How could she be so excited to push a child into the fire pit?】

【Ah, ah, ah, ah, the poor child believed her and actually volunteered. I can't bear to watch!】

【...Damn??】

"Uncle and aunt, I have a good friend who really likes you both and wants to be adopted by you, but because of me, she hasn't come out to see you. Could you please go and see her? Can you adopt her, please?" The slender young girl looked nervously at the glamorous couple in front of her, her voice filled with cautious hope.

"What about you? Don't you want us to adopt you?" The man asked gently, his hands resting on the girl's frail shoulders, subconsciously rubbing his thumbs a few times.

The girl didn't sense anything wrong and, upon hearing his words, the longing for a family flickered in her big black eyes. After a few seconds of hesitation, she vigorously shook her head. "I don't want to."

Everyone could see she wanted to give this chance to her good friend.

And then, Song Juyao led the couple and the dean to visit Jiang Mi. Watching as Jiang Mi initially wore a triumphant smile, thinking she had succeeded, then her sudden stiffness upon knowing the truth, the audience in the live broadcast room cheered.

【This reversal!!! I freaking love it!】

【Hahaha, I feel so happy!!!】

【Stealing the chicken will end up losing the rice! It’s Jiang Mi we’re talking about!】

【Jiang Mi's changing expressions are so damn hilarious, hahaha!】

【This is so satisfying!! Satisfied to the point my scalp became numb!】

【Hahaha, didn't they say Song Juyao should be kind? Well, she's kind enough, right? Hahaha!】

【So, this is what Jiang Mi meant when she said Song Juyao pushed her out??】

【Hehe, looks like Jiang Mi's image just crumbled.】

【Jiang Mi's fans, come out and tell us, whose face is the production team slapping now?!】

……

After leaving the company, Jiang Mi did not pay attention to 'Justice Judgement' anymore. Anyway, her boss had already discussed it with Director Tan Wei, so there was nothing to worry about. So she directly asked her agent to arrange for her favorite beauty salon and went for a full-body spa.

When she came out feeling relaxed and pampered, she noticed several staff members at the front desk huddled together, whispering. Seeing her, they looked at her strangely, making her very uncomfortable.

"What's going on? Is there something wrong with me?" She forced a fake smile.

"Nothing at all, Miss Jiang. You look radiant today! After our water-light spa, you seem to be glowing!"

"Is that so?"

"Yes, absolutely."

Jiang Mi left doubtfully and took out her silent phone, only to find that her agent had called more than ten times, and a sense of foreboding washed over her. She quickly called back.

"Jiang Mi, go online and take a look!" Her agent's angry and flustered voice came through.

Jiang Mi hurriedly logged onto her social media platform and was shocked to find herself trending.

#JiangMiPersonaCollapse#

Didn't this tag disappear after I posted that lengthy blog post? How did it resurface and directly reach number one on the hot search?

Jiang Mi clicked on it with a puzzled expression and her face turned pale as she scrolled through the posts. It felt like the world was spinning around her.

She never expected that in the blink of an eye, the production team would broadcast the entire screen recording. Her blog post, aimed at tarnishing Song Juyao's reputation, had become a rock that hit her own foot.

People were angrily cursing Jiang Mi, especially those who had previously believed in her and spent money betting on her. The loss of their money, combined with the humiliation, turned public sentiment against her in an instant. They vented their anger on her relentlessly.

Trembling, Jiang Mi clutched her phone, desperately brainstorming how to salvage the situation.

However, things took a turn for the worse. With her fall, there were opportunists eager to beat the fallen dog. The "Dawn will light" forum members immediately put out all her real black materials, each revelation was rock-solid, shocking the melon-eating crowds so much that they dropped their own melons. One after another "explosions" were hung behind each tag.

Jiang Mi's fans watched all of this in silence. Jiang Yaoyao and a few loyal fans still tried to urge everyone to trust and support Jiang Mi and counteract the negative comments, but they couldn't stop one member after another from leaving.

[You go and support her on your own! I'm done, I can't believe I was blind enough to support her!]

[Jiang Mi, you're so disgusting, not even a shred of honesty left in you. I'm turning into an anti-fan and dislike you. Goodbye.]

[...]

Eventually even Jiang Yaoyao  felt powerless, and  helplessly lifted her hands from the keyboard.

On this day, Jiang Mi finally achieved the empire's highest level of attention, but it was like a fleeting firework, destined to vanish in the blink of an eye. And then she would soon face her darkest time.

Regret gnawed at Jiang Mi, wishing she could turn back time. If only she hadn't been so greedy, if only she hadn't posted that long post!

……

In the Huo family, Huo Sen watched the unfolding events and slowly exhaled.

He knew Song Juyao was not the woman Jiang Mi had portrayed her to be. There was something unique in her bones, something that had drawn him to her but also caused her to reject him. If she could be changed by someone like Jiang Mi, then he'd be too ridiculous.

There was another sound of smashing from downstairs, he could imagine Yuan Manzhi clutching her chest and gasping for breath in anger. No doubt believing Jiang Mi's lies she must have celebrated happily  for a while before getting slapped in the face again.

Fool.

Huo Sen quickly shifted his attention, deep in thought as he pinched his chin. He wondered why would the production team suddenly release the screen recording? It seemed almost too coincidental, as if they were assisting Song Juyao. If they hadn't shown the recording during the live broadcast, it would have caused significant trouble for Song Juyao. While she might have been able to clarify things with her own abilities, playing the recording before the live broadcast saved her a lot of effort.

Huo Sen picked up his phone and called Tan Wei to ask him what was going on.

"Yun Yang?"

The young master of the noble Yun family. It was difficult to determine if this young man had some other intentions. He had always been very playful and self-willed. However, he was still spoiled, so it's possible for him to make any decision on a whim just for fun. His history included some terrible and absurd choices prompted by mere curiosity.

…...

People continued to curse Jiang Mi, but it didn't stop them from both criticizing and watching the live broadcast simultaneously. They were highly invested in what would happen next. The man who had stared at Song Juyao for so long, behaving like a lunatic, entered the orphanage after Jiang Mi was taken away. He claimed to want to adopt Song Juyao. The orphanage director was a trash; without regarding Song Juyao's wishes, he seemed determined to sell her off.

Nobody knew what this man intended to do with Song Juyao, and the audience was eager to find out. However, it all stopped here. The live broadcast began and Song Juyao had already turned 18.

【Ah, I'm so nervous! 18-year-old Yaoyao is coming out!】

【What exactly does that man want to do to Song Juyao? Heaven, after escaping the wolf's den could she have fallen into the tiger's mouth?】

【That man gives off a real serial killer vibe. I wonder what he's going to do to Song Juyao.】

【Let's get started already!】

【I'm so worried; I hope they don't torture her beyond recognition, right?】

Amid the excited screams of the audience, the official live broadcast finally began.

The live stream split into four channels: one for Song Juyao as the main focus and three for real-life NPCs.

As always, people rushed to the main live broadcast room to catch a glimpse of Song Juyao's appearance. Her debut in the first episode had left a significant impact on the viewers. A defendant appearing so splendidly was something unprecedented in the history of the Judgement show. Yet, because that memory was etched deeply, they couldn't help but wonder about her second episode's appearance – would Song Juyao once again defy expectations and surprise them again.

In the frame, Song Juyao was riding a bicycle downhill. Her jet-black hair fluttered in the wind, and she wore a simple white t-shirt and jeans. Her skin was fair and radiant, her eyes were dark and clear, and she had white earphones plugged in, with a faint smile gracing her lips.

The camera focused directly on her face, beautiful to the point of touching one's soul, making it impossible to look away.

【Ahhhh, this feeling of first love!!】

【Damn sweet!】

【It's a bit different from the first episode, but there's something familiar.】

【She doesn't seem like she's been abused. Could it be that the menacing man is actually a good person?】

【Perhaps it's just shining on the surface, it’s devastated within though.】

【But she looks simpler than the first episode; maybe her background isn't as flashy this time.】

【Today should be the day she returns to the wealthy family, right?"】

The program crew was quite regretful, thinking that they should have found a way to ruin Song Juyao's face. Her face was so beautiful that no matter how plainly she dressed, it wouldn't diminish her allure. However, in the first episode, she rode in a luxury car with a chauffeur and wore designer brands. In this episode, she was on a bicycle in unbranded, plain clothes. It seemed she didn't have the same extravagant background as in the first episode, making it harder for them to manipulate the situation.

Although it wasn't exactly according to their scripted plan, it was still better than the first episode.

As they watched Song Juyao riding her bicycle towards the huge manor where Wen Zhulian resided, confirming that things were following the script, they breathed a sigh of relief. Indeed, today was the day for Song Juyao's return to the wealthy family, as they had intended.

At that moment, in another live broadcast room, Wen Zhulian was shown inside the wealthy manor, looking dejected. Her parents were deeply concerned and showered her with comforting embraces and words of solace.

"Baby, don't be afraid. You are our darling, and no one can replace you." Mother Li Xin said with great distress.

"Child, you need to know that love isn't bound by blood. We've raised you like our own daughter from a young age, and our feelings for you won't fade just because there's no blood relation. Be good and smile for me okay?" Her father Wen Guohua also affectionately patted her head.

Wen Zhulian, though comforted, bit her lip and looked up at them with a smile. "Okay, I understand, Mom and Dad. I'm just feeling a little down because I'm not your biological child. If you love me the same way as before, I don't mind if you also love Juyao."

"You're such a good child," the couple beamed with relief.

At this moment, a handsome young man walked in.

Li Xin and Wen Guohua turned to him and asked, "Why are you alone here? Um... where is your sister?"

Wen Yingting held a book he had just bought and reached out to ruffle Wen Zhulian's hair, saying, "Isn't my sister right here?"

Li Xin playfully swatted his arm and scolded, "What's the matter with you? Weren't you supposed to pick her up from the airport? You went and bought books instead? How many copies of this Dragon Slaying Princess book have you bought? I'm really pissed off!"

Wen Yingting shifted the books behind him, avoiding his mother's hand, he let out a cold snort. "I thought about it, and I still can't understand Grandpa's decision. She's already 18; why not just give her some money? Why bring her back? And he even insisted on having Song Juyao stay at the old mansion with us, to 'develop relationships.' It's simply ridiculous."

"Brother, how can you say that?" Wen Zhulian was immediately anxious: "She's just a young girl in a strange place, who knows if she's still waiting stupidly at the airport! Come, I'll go with you."

"Your going won't help, your fans would flood the airport," Wen Yingting indulgently pinched her cheek. When he mentioned Song Juyao, his expression turned cold. "She'd better sense from my attitude that she's unwelcome here and find her way back to wherever she came from."

【Hmm... even though I know this is all set up by the production team, this 'Real or Fake Heiress' script is quite intense. I think this family has some issues.】

【Don't get off track; the point isn't to criticize NPCs; it's to see Song Juyao's reaction and how she deals with these biased attitudes!】

【If I were Song Juyao... just thinking about it makes me want to fly into a rage, never mind.】

【If Song Juyao had the conditions of the last episode, this family would have a different attitude, wouldn't they?】

【Unfortunately, Song Juyao doesn't.】

Wen Zhulian appeared anxious and angry on the surface, but deep down she was very smug. She had spent so many years in the virtual world grown up being loved and spoiled by this family. It was impossible for her not to develop a sense of possession towards them. Therefore, besides completing the mission, she also had a deep desire to compete with Song Juyao from the bottom of her heart.

She thought about her character design, achievements, and popularity in this episode, and no matter how she thought about it, she felt confident of winning. Even if Song Juyao was still the national darling from the first episode, she believed she could even compete with her.

Just as she thought this, the doorbell rang outside.

Soon, the maid hurriedly rushed in and said, "Sir, Madam, Young Master, Miss, that person outside... that person seems to be... Miss Song."

The family of four was stunned, since Wen Yingting didn't go pick her up, Song Juyao came over on her own??

"It seems she couldn't wait," Wen Yingting was even more disdainful. According to the investigation data, Song Juyao had adoptive parents. But now that she heard she was the mistaken daughter of a wealthy family, without anyone picking her up, she eagerly ran over herself - this was an ugly sight, she might as well have directly said she loved money.

He didn't believe that if their family was poor, she would be so eager to run back.

After a moment of silence, Li Xin spoke up, "Please invite her in."

The maid hurriedly went out to invite Song Juyao. She couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for Song Juyao. After all, no matter what, she was their biological daughter. She had come all the way to the doorstep, and they couldn't be bothered to take a few steps to personally receive her. Coming back this time, she was afraid that this biological daughter wouldn't have an easy time.

Although she had been briefly mesmerized by Song Juyao's beauty, even thinking that Song Juyao was way prettier than Wen Zhulian, she reckoned what use mere beauty was. Wen Zhulian was a teenage music prodigy in the music industry, whose self-composed songs at 15 swept all the charts, and even songs she wrote for others were all hits. She had written lyrics and composed music for internationally renowned singers and had won numerous awards. At just 18, she had achieved historic milestones, with countless fans both domestically and internationally, shining brilliantly.

Adding all of these accomplishments together, Song Juyao's beauty seemed too insignificant. In the face of absolute talent, the charm of beauty would diminish infinitely and become utterly useless.

With this in mind, if her adopted daughter was such an outstanding child, while her own biological daughter was quite ordinary, she too would find it hard to not be more partial to her foster daughter.

Song Juyao seemed not to notice the pity in the maid's eyes. She walked in naturally, following her into the grand iron gate, passing through the front yard, and entered the luxurious mansion.

The family of four sat elegantly on the couch, radiating opulence and wealth. When they saw her, the woman who looked like her mother stood up with a smile, but it looked a bit fake and forced due to its excessive brightness.

"Juyao, come over! Why did you come by yourself? I originally asked your brother to pick you up, but I didn't expect that he didn't receive the message, so he came back by himself."

Wen Yingting leaned against the back of his chair, smirked at her words, and, rather than looking at Song Juyao, continued flipping through his idol's novel that he just recently bought.

"Um, yes, it's because of this, sister, please don't misunderstand," Wen Zhulian said rather anxiously, making it seem even more suspicious.

She examined Song Juyao, and recognised her face was still that familiar face from the first episode, very beautiful. Her clothing and style were quite literary and rustic, but a bit plain, and not any big brand. Just as the investigation data showed–she was adopted by an ordinary elderly couple. Her family background and living standards were just average, almost on a civilian level.

Wen Zhulian secretly breathed a sigh of relief. A few years ago, for some reason, both Jiang Mi and Song Juyao had disappeared at the same time. The orphanage was also sealed off by the police, and the dean and a few caretaker aunties were arrested. The orphans were all transferred to another welfare institution. She had been waiting for Jiang Mi to contact her, but she had never received any word from her.

Although she believed that her current achievements could rival Song Juyao's from the first episode, she wasn't a truly talented person after all. So, deep down, she still had some insecurities. Seeing that Song Juyao really seemed like an ordinary person, those insecurities finally disappeared.

Song Juyao looked at this family that she clearly couldn't fit into and smiled. "I didn't see young master Wen at the airport." When Li Xin felt embarrassed, Song Juyao continued, "But that's not a big deal. I actually came here specifically to talk to you about something."

"I have a good relationship with my foster parents, and they treat me very well. I'm also eighteen now, and can independently make decisions about anything by myself. So I have no plans to join your family." Song Juyao said.

【Song Juyao is going off-script again!!】

【If she doesn't return to the wealthy family, how can the storyline of the real vs fake heiress unfold?】

【The production team is in big trouble again. How will they deal with Song Juyao's is indifferent to fame and fortune and doesn't want the wealthy family?】

【I don't believe Song Juyao genuinely doesn't care. Who, after living as an ordinary and plain person for so long and suffering so much in the orphanage will be indifferent to the wealth? She must have recognized that this couple was the same couple who used to give out candies when they visited the orphanage when she was young. Seeing this scene, there's no way her heart isn't stirred at all.】

【She's probably just pretending not to care. How pitiful!]

The Wen family all thought that Song Juyao was impatiently rushing over to become a rich heiress. Wen Guohua had previously rehearsed a script in advance and was about to speak to Song Juyao, saying that although she was their biological daughter, they also had deep feelings for Wen Zhulian, and the mix-up was not Wen Zhulian's fault. He wanted her not to overthink things and that if she couldn't get along with Wen Zhulian, they would have no choice but to send her away. They also had no intention of publicly stating that Wen Zhulian was not their biological daughter, and would not let her spread this around. However, before a single word could leave his mouth, it got stuck in his throat.

Wen Yingting was also stunned and looked at Song Juyao in disbelief–was this feigned weakness to make them feel guilty?

Wen Zhulian was taken aback. "What? Do you mean you're not coming back?"

Song Juyao looked at her with no hint of hostility, her expression calm. "That's right. I want to be with my family. I'm sure you can understand that foster parents' kindness is greater than biological parents'."

As Song Juyao spoke, Li Xin and Wen Guohua began to feel a bit guilty. They couldn't help but wonder if they had been too obvious in their favoritism, which led her to say this.

"How can this be?!" Wen Zhulian immediately protested. If Song Juyao didn't move in, how could she make her jealous to the point of distortion? She had prepared for so long to compete with her, and now Song Juyao was trying to evade at the last moment!

Wen Zhulian grabbed Song Juyao's hand. "You're part of this family. Is it because of me that you're not coming back? If that's the case, I...I'll leave right now..."

As soon as she said this, the expressions of the three Wens changed. The guilt in the couple's eyes disappeared, and Wen Yingting abruptly stood up in annoyance, his face full of impatience.

"Your room is upstairs. You flew all the way back for this? Is it even worth saying these things now?" If you really didn't want to, you could have just said it over the phone. He then decided that she actually harbored resentment towards Wen Zhulian and wanted to force her to leave.

Li Xin looked at the maid coldly. "Mrs. Li, take the second young miss upstairs to see her room."

"No need. I didn't come back for you, so please don't overthink it," Song Juyao said. Her gaze paused on the book in Wen Yingting's hand, then she turned and left.

"Sister..." Wen Zhulian immediately wanted to stop her, but she was suddenly held back by Wen Yingting.

Wen Yingting sneered coldly as he watched Song Juyao's retreating figure: "I advise you not to try these petty tricks, they're annoying. Once you walk out that door, don't think about coming back in."

Song Juyao shook her head meaningfully without stopping.

By the time Wen Zhulian caught up, all she could see was the tail of Song Juyao's bicycle, disappearing around the corner.

"Did she really leave?" Wen Yingting narrowed his eyes, full of doubt.

"Brother! It's all your fault. Why did you act this way? Go find our sister and bring her back!" Wen Zhulian was so frustrated that she stomped her foot in anger. Wen Yingting dragged her back inside by holding under her armpit.

"You've been in the entertainment industry for so long. Haven't you noticed that something's off with Song Juyao? I think someone is guiding her actions intentionally," Wen Yingting said.

"What do you mean?"

The live stream viewers also perked up, curious to hear Wen Yingting's analysis.

"First, consider who you are. You're a unique talent in the music industry, an international superstar. Yet when she saw you, she didn't even raise an eyebrow. That's not reasonable. She must have known all along that you were the one she was switched with, but how could she, a commoner living abroad for years, have known this information?"

Wen Zhulian found it convincing and nodded repeatedly. "And then?"

"From her eyes, you can't see even a hint of emotion toward us. Is that something a normal person would do? There should be some feelings—anticipation, fondness, or even dislike. She had nothing. So, my conclusion is that someone is guiding her from behind, using this reverse psychology to get our attention and make us feel guilty, ultimately achieving some other goal. Let's just wait; she'll definitely come back."

Wen Yingting sounded resolute, and Wen Zhulian was convinced. Indeed, Song Juyao had been too composed upon seeing her, considering she was an international superstar!

【He seems to make some sense.】

【Song Juyao was indeed too calm】

【??? Is Wen Zhulian an international superstar? Is she so awesome?】

【!!! I just realized, Is Wen Zhulian that talented? She's been in the industry in the real world for a few years, her appearance and skills seem average, but she actually became an international superstar in the virtual world, how?】

【Wow, I'm starting to get curious what Wen Zhulian has done.】

【...If you set your screen on Song Juyao's perspective, you'll understand what Wen Zhulian has done. It's mind-boggling.】

Putting themselves in Song Juyao's perspective allowed them not only to see what she saw but also to hear what she heard. At this moment, Song Juyao was wearing earphones and listening to music. When the comment appeared, many viewers curiously shifted their attention to Song Juyao's perspective.

【???】

【Song Juyao is listening to Yang Tianhou's songs. Yang Tianhou's songs are so good. What's wrong with that?】

【She switched to another one now, it's a song by You Wanying, one of the few artists from our empire who made it big abroad. It's the glory of the music industry. Is there anything wrong with listening to it?】

【...Wait a minute, are these all in Wen Zhulian's voice?】

【Is Wen Zhulian doing a cover? As expected, it is an above-average level of singing ability. She struggles with some high notes and has to lower the pitch, so it's not bad, but it feels like it's missing a bit of flavor compared to the original.】

Many viewers hadn't yet grasped what was happening until Song Juyao's bicycle came to a stop in front of a café. She walked into the café, where two front desk waiters were quietly arguing over which song to play on the computer.

"I like this one. Anyway, they are all songs written by Wen Zhulian, so let's play this one first!"

"I prefer that one. After all, they are all songs written by Wen Zhulian. What does it matter which one we play first?" The other waiter retorted.

Seeing Song Juyao, they stopped arguing. One of them came to take her order, while the other took the chance to play the song he liked first.

Then...

【???】

【??? No way, this is a song by You Wanying!】

【??? They said a song written by Wen Zhulian, but when played it turned out to be You Wanying's?】

【Damn, I kind of understand what’s going on! 】

【So, Wen Zhulian took well-known songs from the real world, passed them off as her own lyrics, and became popular in the virtual world?"

【As a fan of You Wanying, I'm furious! This is a song she wrote herself with five years of hard work!"

【As a fan of Ying Hua, I'm furious - this song was written and composed by Wanying by working hard for over five years!】[T/N: You Wanying is affectionately referred to as "Yīng Huā" by her fans, which translates to "Oriental Cherry" in English.]

Nothing like this had ever happened before and the audience was shocked thinking Isn't Wen Zhulian shameless? This is not even plagiarism; it's an outright theft!

Wen Zhulian seemed to sense something and, after returning to her room, addressed the viewers. "I'm sorry, everyone. I used many songs from seniors and claimed they were my own compositions. I didn't mean it. It's useless for me to be famous in the virtual world, no? I just want to say that Song Juyao was so powerful in the first episode, and I wondered if she'd have another powerful role in the second episode. I wanted to evenly match her…"

"At the same time, I was also curious about the aesthetics of virtual world NPCs. I wanted to see if our songs that are so popular in the real world would also be popular here. It turns out great songs really do not distinguish between real and virtual worlds. Every one of them became a hit... Seniors, you're truly amazing, and as juniors, we must look up to you."

"These are also my recommended songs. There are some old songs I love that many young people nowadays don't listen to anymore. Please make sure to give them a listen. They are truly outstanding and are absolute classics..."

With this speech, Wen Zhulian redirected the viewers' attention to other matters, and they stopped fixating on her claim of others' work as her own. After all, this was the virtual world, not the real world, so it wasn't exactly plagiarism.

And singers of those songs she used likely wouldn't mind her actions either. After all, with such high exposure, it would help in spreading the songs. Their downloads would likely surge in the coming days.

【It seems Song Juyao is about to get crushed this season. Wen Zhulian has essentially gathered all the essence of the music industry!】

【Wen Zhulian is overpowered. This is too much! Who can compete with her?】

【Song Qiaoqiao is doomed in this episode.】

【Haha, I finally don't have to see Song Juyao acting all high and mighty anymore. She's just a murderer pretending to be an angel in the virtual world!】

【What's there to be happy about? Is it really glorious to win against Song Juyao this way?】

【...】

Because the team had already predicted the audience reactions, Wen Zhulian wasn't worried. Honestly, who hasn't fantasized about being the genius behind all the world's masterpieces and having an all-around talent? She simply made it a reality, and she believed the viewers would also enjoy indulging in it through her perspective, so her live stream would undoubtedly retain many viewers.

At that moment, Wen Zhulian received a new message on her phone. She quickly took it out while simultaneously recommending things to her audience.

"Let me tell you something. I thought having so many seniors' works from the real world would let me dominate this world. But guess what? There's an NPC who is super amazing, his musical style is completely unique from anything in the real world. It's so special and sounds incredible! Of course, he's also unparalleled in the virtual world. That's why even though I'm an international superstar in the virtual world, he's truly the undisputed king of the international music scene, pioneering a whole new genre... Soon, I'll be participating in a reality show with him..."

The live stream viewers also saw the picture of the man she was talking about - black hair, deep and enchanting blue eyes, devastatingly handsome.

Meanwhile, Song Qiaoqiao turned on her laptop and opened a document. She was writing, it was obvious that the book title was at the front and the pen name at the back. She had already written several chapters and was continuing.

【Wait a minute, that pen name looks familiar??】

【I also find it somewhat familiar, like I've seen it somewhere...】

【Wait, I remember now!! It's the Dragon Slayer Princess! Isn't that the author of the book that someone's been obsessed with?】

【Who is that someone?】

【It's Wen Yingting!! He's just been so obsessed with the book that he won't even let his mom touch it, so I peeked out of curiosity and saw that it was written by the Dragon Slayer Princess!】

【Hey, no way? Song Juyao is a writer, and Wen Yingting just happens to be her book fan???】

At that moment, the bell above the cafe door rang as it opened.

A tall figure walked in and sat opposite the absorbed Song Juyao. The person's face was covered up tightly with sunglasses, a mask, and a baseball cap.

He took off his glasses, revealing a pair of piercing green eyes. His voice beneath the mask was low and enchanting.

"Younger sister." [T/N: 妹妹 (mèi mei)]

Song Juyao's gaze shifted from her computer screen. When she saw who it was, her eyes instantly curved into a pair of crescent moons: "Fourth brother."

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