Chapter 342: Press conference
It was evening when the plane landed in Shenghai.
Currently, <Performer> was already rapidly gaining traction on the various music charts as it was frenziedly broadcasted on the Internet.
Coincidentally, the plot of the music video was precisely this: The character played by Apple mustered up her courage and waited in front of the house of her former boyfriend. When she finally saw him, however, it was with his new girlfriend. In front of them, she played the role of some ordinary classmate who had just happened to run into him by chance…
She smiled at them, but as she turned, teardrops were trickling down her face.
“I who should act together in concert with you pretend to see nothing. When forcing someone who loves you the most to take to the stage…...When I must act together in concert I perform with all my might. It’s because I love you that I choose to perform, and fulfil you.
Each line evoked intense feelings, piercing deeply into one’s heart.
Tianyi had spent great effort on the music videos of all ten songs in the album <<Rebirth>>, having emphasised on either concept, storyline, or deep feels for each.
Singers were appraised on their songs at the end of the day. As soon as <Performer> was uploaded, the morale of the fans rose as they gained a killer trump card in the battles against the haters: We are the champions. Apple’s song is competing against herself at the top of the rankings…”
Just like that, amidst the many rumours, Apple’s popularity rose yet again with an unstoppable momentum.
At the same time, news about Apple’s return to the country began to spread.
When Apple emerged from the arrival hall at the airport, the entrance was already surrounded by the cameras of some dozens of reporters.
Li Juan wanted to obstruct them, but Apple indicated that there was no need and walked up without any makeup as she smiled, “I’ll speak to everyone during tomorrow morning’s press conference. Thank you.”
10am the next morning, Tianyi’s press conference in Shenghai City.
Apple was putting on makeup in the dressing room while listening to the PR team’s tips on how to speak to the media, “If you find that you can’t answer, say: We should really talk about music and the album instead.”
Apple suddenly burst out chortling even as she replied, “Got it.”
During a brief intermission, she sent Xu Tingsheng a text, “Who would have thought, right? The song that you wrote for me...is actually playing out in real life. When I must act together in concert with you I perform all my might...I’m going off to the press conference now.”
If this were ten years later, she might add, “Come, let’s hurt each other...ha!”
After sending the text, imagining Xu Tingsheng’s expression and mood as he read it, Apple felt some triumph amidst her bitterness. She knew that Xu Tingsheng would not be feeling good at all, yet sometimes, girls just had to keep score on even this, seeing if...does your heart twinge?
Yet, when she finally arrived at the site of the press conference, took a bow and sat down, faced with several dozen reporters who looked like they were raring to go, Apple still felt a bit uneasy.
The current Apple was in the midst of high popularity and with so many issues that revolved around her too. The excitement of the media was sufficiently stoked. And in their eyes, the concept of empathy and understanding did not exist whatsoever.
The first question came. A female reporter cut to the chase.
“I would like to ask Apple, or Miss Cen Xiyu. Is it true that you were previously afflicted with a severe mental illness, also having tried to kill yourself before? Reverting from your English name Apple to your Chinese name Cen Xiyu and starting out anew-is it related to this?”
Apple slowly nodded, then shook her head, finally replying, “Actually, I’m not very familiar with the idea of mental illnesses, but I can confirm that I had severe depression before. The idea of suicide did cross my mind, but I never actually attempted it before. As for changing my name to start out anew, it is indeed related to this, because I felt like I experienced a qualitative change in my life.”
Never having thought that Apple would admit to her former illness so candidly with no thought for her image, a commotion arose in the crowd as there were startled exclamations all around before heated discussion began.
After a while, another reporter continued, “Regarding that, rumour is that Tianle stopped you from performing precisely due to your illness, in order to protect you. Is that really the case?”
Apple had no need to answer this question herself. It seemed that anything she said regarding her former company could be found fault with.
Tianyi’s PR person who was presiding over the press conference took over, raising a piece of A4-sized paper and saying, “Please remain patient, everyone. A piece of paper like that in my hand will soon be passed down to all of you.”
The relevant personnel began handing out the document that Tianyi’s PR team had prepared beforehand.
“Everyone can see now that Miss Cen Xiyu, Apple’s schedule for commercial performances when at a certain company...calling it ceaseless would not be too much, right? According to Miss Apple’s former assistant, Miss Apple lost an alarming ten kilos over those two months.”
The PR person stopped at this point.
The reporters gripped the sheet of paper, either murmuring to themselves or discussing with one another, ‘That’s totally immoral…’, ‘Right, let alone a young girl, even an Olympic champ would collapse with this sort of intensity…’, ‘This is too much…’
When the voices had finally quelled, Tianyi’s PR person continued, “I should divulge another piece of news here. Miss Apple’s income from participating in each one of those commercial performances was 800 yuan.”
The reporters present were utterly dumbstruck. Whatever the case, Apple had been a popular new artiste at the time! The fee for inviting her should not have been low, and yet the company had actually paid her so little.
This might help them to understand why three years later, the champion of a certain broadcasted artiste competition would shockingly reveal that they had only earned seventy thousand in total over the past three years.
“Why was Miss Apple willing to suffer such treatment at the time? It was because they promised to quickly release a new album for her, then organise a concert after its successful release. That was her dream…”
“As for the result, you can understand half of it from that list. As for the other half, you have your own channels. You can simply ask around if there was any news at all at the time of a certain company collecting songs within the industry for Apple’s album.”
Here, the PR person paused and smiled wryly, “If it were me, I would be depressed too.”
While this had clearly been said in a joking tone, no one was able to easily smile.
Firstly, everyone already understood Apple’s initial situation. As for how her depression had come about, whether she had been protected or harmed, this could not be any more obvious, really.
Secondly, as depression was a illness that affected the masses, many present could empathise with it. Also, mocking an illness was always a no-no for sure.
Apple had already completely turned the tables in this incident. Some reporter uploaded a photo of that sheet of paper and a summary of the PR team’s words onto Weibo. Immediately, whether this was out of sympathy or there had already been ‘true love’ originally...public sentiment began shifting over to Apple’s side. Also, the outrage against Tianle and the ones who had previously leaked the erroneous news grew higher with each wave.
“You can rest assured, everyone. I’m in very good condition right now. To be exact, I already basically recovered half a year ago. There should be no problem at all now,” Apple clarified.
“Sorry, Miss Apple. From what I know, depression is very hard to cure. How did you recover?” Someone went along with the flow and asked.
“The care and concern of my family, my fans, Tianyi, and my former bandmates from Rebirth,” Apple answered.
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