Saving One Hundred Million StarsChapters List
Chapter 9: The Young and Renowned Drama Maniac 
It seems that the public is often more harsh in judging the romantic relationships of female celebrities.
Given that Li Mengfu was underage, any rumors about her romantic involvement, whether true or false, seemed to demand her public condemnation nailed to the pillar of shame, as if she had committed an unforgivable sin.
Around 8:20 pm, Qi Zhi and Li Mengfu both posted on their official social media accounts, emphasizing that they were just friends.
Li Mengfu: Qi Zhi and I have known each other for so long, why don't you guys ever catch us eating together normally? 😂
Li Mengfu's response carried a playful yet suggestive tone. The two were at the peak of their popularity when suddenly this misleading scandal exploded. Fans immediately reacted and began to counteract the negative publicity by promoting their film "Old Shadows of the Republic".
Qi Zhi: We've always been good friends. At that time Mengfu almost tripped while walking, I just gave her a hand.
As soon as the news broke, Qi Zhi promptly asked the car parking management for the surveillance video.
In the footage, the two walked with a one to two-meter gap between them. Li Mengfu, walking backward, wore a sweet smile on her face, seemingly sharing something funny with Qi Zhi.
She didn't pay attention to her feet and almost fell down, while Qi Zhi quickly reacted to hold her.
The two of them moved a lot before Qi Zhi accidentally pulled Li Mengfu into his arms, causing the two to look like they were hugging.
When the full video came out, the rumors dispelled themselves, leaving various media outlets red-faced.
The various marketing numbers didn't seem to expect Qi Zhi to be able to come up with the video in just over twenty minutes.
Some realizing that it wasn't going well swiftly deleted their posts, while others, who had accepted payment for spreading misinformation, still insisted that Qi Zhi and Li Mengfu had an unusual relationship.
Qi Zhi, looking at his phone with narrowed eyes, the cold white light from the screen reflected on his face, making him appear particularly cold and ruthless.
He was just about to retaliate when he noticed that those marketing accounts had already been overwhelmed by his and Mengfu's fans.
Qi Zhi and Li Mengfu were not old, so their fan bases were also relatively young, each countered with 'sweet and fragrant' words to render the marketing accounts speechless.
However, some fans commented otherwise:
[Am I the only one who thinks Qi Zhi was too fast?]
[If he wasn't constantly paying attention, how could he have reacted within half a second?]
After the clarification video came out, within the "ZhiMeng" (Qi Zhi x Li Mengfu) CP fan group, some fans began seriously discussing whether their boyfriend who was two meters away could grab them within half a second if they were about to fall. (ZhiMeng - DreamWeave)
Several high school students had an academic discussion about this issue.
In the end, Ye Qing concluded from various perspectives:
[If Xiao Qi hadn't been constantly paying attention to Mengmeng, he wouldn't have been able to catch her in time!]
[Mengmeng’s fan for ten years comes to report!]
This self-proclaimed longtime fan posted a lengthy analysis:
[Mengmeng has always been strictly controlled by her parents, and she has a somewhat shy personality (though it gets better when she's familiar with the person). So, it's difficult for her to let her guard down in front of strangers, but in the video she seems genuinely happy while talking to Qi Zhi.]
[Based on my many years of understanding of Mengmeng, even if they are not lovers now, they are very likely to become true in the future. Hahaha.]
[Replying to the comment above, 'The Old Shadows of the Republic' was their second collaboration, so Mengmeng and XiaoZhi's relationship is undoubtedly better than ordinary people. The protagonists themselves have said they are just friends, so everyone, don't think too much. (Speechless)]
Upon hearing this, some CP fans became unhappy. Coming to the CP forum and stating that their cherished CP was just friends—what kind of nonsense was this?
[Even if they are not lovers now (because Mengmeng is currently 17), maybe they will be in the future. The way XiaoZhi looks at Mengmeng can't deceive anyone!]
[Agreed! Qi Zhi definitely likes Mengmeng!]
The comment asserting that the two were just friends received a frenzy of replies. As the thread grew longer, this super topic, originally with only a few hundred people, suddenly attracted a lot of attention from many strangers...
The two parties involved still knew nothing about this, and there was a bloody storm of comments under Li Mengfu's Weibo.
Because she was an underage girl and a public figure,
[Mengbao, promise me not to date so early! Wahhhh (crazy) (twisted) (jealous)] This comment received numerous likes and was pushed to the top.
[Don't worry, I won't.] Agent Wang imitated Li Mengfu's tone and typed out these words.
Li Mengfu, viewing the comments with her alternate account, felt a slight sense of disappointment.
Does everyone dislike me dating so much?
Even if it was Qi Zhi, who was similar in age and familiar with her?
It was only at this moment, because of the mistaken rumor, that Li Mengfu realized she had fallen for Qi Zhi.
The manager was still discussing something related to this, but Li Mengfu's eyes were wandering, clearly showing her distraction.
Qi Zhi was still browsing the hot searches and various comments. Marketing accounts directed their attacks at Li Mengfu's underage 'early romance.' Despite the timely clarification, Li Mengfu's national sweetheart image still suffered a slight setback.
Just like a smooth egg shell suddenly developed a crack, it left the person with a sense of emptiness and loss.
Ultimately, it was still an issue with Li Mengfu's public image.
Later, Qi Zhi and his agent discussed shifting the narrative to Li Mengfu turning 18 in just five more months, rather than focusing on the six characters of "Li Mengfu underage."
At the same time, the company formulated strategies to adjust Li Mengfu's public image from the little girl of the past.
Listening on the side, Li Mengfu was somewhat puzzled: "Isn't being under eighteen and underage the same thing?"
Qi Zhi stroked her hair and carefully explained: "Being under eighteen is a state, while underage is a label, just like the 'child star' label on you."
"Ordinary people won't constantly pay attention to your changes; they subconsciously see you as an underage child. If we don't change their perception early, even when you're eighteen or twenty, in their minds, you'll still be a child."
After listening, Li Mengfu pursed her lips: "I understand. Actually this is the same principle as me taking on 'Old Shadows of the Republic.'"
To succeed in transition, a single role was not enough.
Her 'national sweetheart' image was deeply ingrained in people's hearts, so adjustments had to be made from other angles.
Chinese is profound and extensive; although they were essentially saying the same thing, the difference between the phrases 'almost eighteen' and 'underage' was worlds apart.
Qi Zhi intentionally guided public opinion through water armies.
Only then did fans and the public begin to realize that 'national sweetheart' Li Mengfu had grown up; she was no longer the young girl they thought she was.
Gradually, voices opposing Li Mengfu dating lessened. Some fans even began encouraging her to have a few romances while she was still young.
For a while, everyone was eagerly anticipating the day when Li Mengfu would truly come of age.
As her online reputation improved, Qi Zhi also didn't forget to investigate the mastermind behind the paparazzi.
Being photographed repeatedly, no one would believe it wasn't someone setting Qi Zhi up.
Qi Zhi acted swiftly and found out everything in just two days.
During this period, the two of them rose to fame very quickly.
Qi Zhi cleansed himself through his acting skills, while Li Mengfu shed her "child star" label and transitioned into an actress through her roles and rumors, obstructing the path for certain individuals.
Looking at the information on his computer, Qi Zhi sneered: "Jiaxing Films."
In her past life, Li Mengfu had signed a contract with Jiaxin Films, and after draining her last bit of value, they began forcing her to accompany the company's high-level executives and even some leaders above for drinks.
Three months ago, Qi Zhi ousted Ye Manting, a favorite of Jiaxin Films and parachuted into the male lead role of "Old Shadows of the Republic". Now, Jiaxin Films was seeking revenge.
After finding out the mastermind behind the scenes, Qi Zhi began collecting evidence, intending to settle both new and old scores with Jiaxin Films together!
Few in the entertainment industry keep their hands completely clean.
Could Jiaxin Films, as an agency capable of nurturing artists like Ye Manting, who used nudes to coerce female stars, be clean and innocent?
Qi Zhi found a heap of evidence when he investigated.
Jiaxin Films engaged in false tax reporting, tax evasion, and coerced its artists to engage in sordid activities. Dirty deeds were revealed one after another!
However, as an established film company, its capital was strong and had deep roots. It wasn't something Qi Zhi could easily bring down just by saying so.
As he secretly plotted while collecting evidence, Qi Zhi suddenly received a call from his mentor, Director Wu (Wu Dao).
Wu Dao was the director of 'Full Moon' who had discerning eyes to pick out the raw talent and cultivated Qi Zhi into a 'young film emperor.'
"Hello, Xiao Qi." Wu Dao's sonorous voice came through the phone.
"I heard that Mengmeng signed with your company?" Wu Dao suddenly asked about Li Mengfu's situation. Qi Zhi was slightly surprised - there's no smoke without fire, and he wondered why he was asking about this.
Curiosity aside, Qi Zhi respectfully replied, "Yes."
"Cough, cough..." Director Wu coughed twice, as if he was not in good health.
"Teacher, are you okay?" Qi Zhi couldn't help asking in concern.
"Aiya, you old fogey, you can't even speak clearly." Through the phone, Qi Zhi heard a slightly disdainful, elderly female voice:
"Xiao Qi, it's me."
The director of "Gazing at the Moon" Wu Dao and the original author of 'Full Moon' Guan Jie were a husband and wife. Since both came looking for him, it was likely they had something important.
Qi Zhi casually closed the screen which displayed Jiaxin Film's stock and greeted: "Guan Laoshi, hello."
"Aiya, it's like this." Guan Laoshi got straight to the point, "I wrote a sequel to 'Full Moon' recently, and the old man and I intend to make the sequel into a film..."
Understanding her meaning, Qi Zhi realized the two mentors wanted to ask him and Mengmeng to film the sequel to 'Full Moon' together.
"Sorry Guan Laoshi, I can't accept it for now."
Qi Zhi paused, then continued, "Mengmeng is in school now. We'll review the script and get back to you."
"Sure, sure," Guan Laoshi readily agreed, "Then I'll send the digital copy to you."
"Thank you Guan Laoshi." Qi Zhi tapped his fingers lightly and slowly on the table, his mind racing.
Generally speaking, when a screenwriter and director write a script, they first look for investors, and then approach actors.
Not long ago, Mengmeng also said she saw Guan Laoshi working on the sequel to 'Full Moon'. In other words, Guan Laoshi had just finished the script.
If they looked for investors elsewhere, with the popularity and value of 'Full Moon', other entertainment companies would have rushed over as soon as they heard news of it.
However, there hasn't been the slightest bit of movement outside.
Thinking of this, Qi Zhi asked politely with a hint of smile in his voice: "I wonder if the both Laoshi have already found investors?"
"Isn't that why we came to you?" Teacher Guan replied with a smile.
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