After Xie Lianyun issued a challenge, “Nut is not a fruit” did not respond for a long time.
The planners behind the scenes and the content creator themselves were panicking.
They had thought this battle was a sure win, aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the ‘musical prodigy’ Xie Lianyun, dragging him from his pedestal into the mire. They didn’t expect him to counterattack in this manner.
By not responding, they were effectively admitting to manipulating public opinion and fabricating the accusations against Xie Lianyun.
But if they did go…
How many should attend? How to explain themselves? Would there be retaliation, or even physical danger?
Three hours passed in delay, frustrating the onlookers.
“People, Xie Lianyun is facing this bravely. It’s inappropriate for you to just disappear after all your big talk.”
“The content creator is being unfair. Xie Lianyun, a famous lyricist and composer since age 12, had his reputation destroyed by your videos, and now you’re not owning up to it? Have some shame!”
“Even as a bystander, I can’t watch this anymore. You rallied so many people against him, and he and his teammates even got hurt. Where are you now? Stop hiding behind your keyboard! I know you’re at home!”
Xie Lianyun’s Weibo post was shared hundreds of thousands of times, and SPF followed up with a trending topic to amplify the impact.
“Nut is not a fruit” refuses to respond to the challenge
Regardless of whether they had a plan or not, it was time to throw the stink back at them.
Finally, at 1 am, the person in question posted on Weibo.
“Nut is not a fruit”: I can accept a live debate, but I have three conditions.
First, this video was produced with substantial effort by me and my friends, so I need to bring at least two friends with me.
Second, we will hire bodyguards for personal safety and reserve the right to refuse any questions unrelated to music.
Third, although it’s a live broadcast, we reserve the right to leave at any moment if there’s any biased or extreme content.
These conditions seemed to ensure both an escape route and a safe approach, but it already seemed like a significant concession in terms of morale.
“Your side injured the captain of the Corona team, and now you’re afraid of being attacked in retaliation? Are you even human?”
“You came all this way, planning to run away if you can’t win the argument? That’s quite petty.”
Originally, anonymous and official forums had a mix of supportive and critical posts in an 8:2 ratio, but now the tide turned, with both starting to mock the content creator.
“I thought they were confident enough to face Xie Lianyun alone, but now this seems like an admission of having a team behind them, haha.”
“I’ve been defending Xie Lianyun day and night these past few days, and now I can almost hear the triumphant sound of victory – take that, Nut biss!”
“This guy is too cowardly. For such a big issue, is Corona just waiting to be ambushed and beaten? If you accept the challenge, then just do it, why so much nonsense?”
On Saturday afternoon at 1:30, everyone gathered at the headquarters of Ye Huo Live Broadcast.
The main instigator behind the scenes didn’t dare to lead the team personally, so they had to find some unfamiliar subordinates to accompany Nut and the insider.
Pei Ruye and Uncle Jiang stood in front of the CORONA, smiling insincerely as they shook hands with the responsible person.
Xie Lianyun crossed his arms and coolly sized up the real face of this content creator.
The young man looked to be in his early twenties, with square glasses that were both earthy and thick, and a haircut that seemed to have been nibbled by a dog.
“Weren’t we only supposed to meet with Mr. Xie?” Nut’s temporary agent, Old He, tried to object.
“We’re also friends and relatives,” Huo Ren said indifferently. “Is there a problem?”
The studio was already set up, waiting for the drama to unfold.
There were two curved seating areas on each side, capable of accommodating six people each, with an electronic display screen in the center. A male and a female host were already prepared.
Nut was incredibly nervous, a far cry from the confidence he had two days ago.
When Xie Lianyun remained silent, Nut felt like he was the master of public opinion, the historical hero who shattered a ten-year myth into lies.
But now, not only did he have to openly argue, but also meet Xie Lianyun in person.
He was on the verge of a breakdown.
“President Pei,” the secretary bowed and said, “All arrangements have been confirmed.”
Pei Ruye glanced at him, and the latter immediately signaled the staff to turn on the live comment screen.
There were still fifteen minutes before the live broadcast started, but the number of real-time viewers on the website and app had already soared to over 200,000, and the number was still climbing.
To maintain stable expanded bandwidth, programmers in three outside server rooms were frantically typing away.
Nut sat down, visibly unsettled, and subconsciously went over his script again.
He did create the video edits, but he couldn’t have prepared all the audio and text material himself – he still didn’t fully understand it.
To win this battle, he had been crammed like a duck by the backstage team for the past two days, memorizing nearly ten thousand words of detailed explanations, even reciting them in his dreams.
But upon seeing the celebrity in person, he was on the brink of panic.
“Calm down,” said a public relations person disguised as a female college student calmly beside him. “If there’s anything you don’t understand later, leave it to us. Just don’t say the wrong thing.”
They all took deep breaths, preparing to stick to the original plan.
Either they would use complex and technical jargon to confuse the other party and drive away the audience, or they would repeatedly question and argue illogically and unreasonably, stirring up trouble and pinning false accusations.
They couldn’t admit their mistake; acknowledging it would nullify all the money spent on negative marketing and paid trolls.
“Should we start now?” Nut’s temporary agent, Old He, inquired.
Everyone was busy coordinating the process, and no one paid him any attention.
“The time has come!” Old He raised his voice. “How much longer do we have to wait?”
Finally, the female host glanced at him.
“First, a commercial break.”
Nut and Old He were perplexed.
They were here to clear up a rumor, but instead, they were promoting Qi Lin’s new album and cutting to commercials. What were they really here for?
Before they could fully grasp the situation, the live broadcast and electronic screens lit up simultaneously.
Nut was stunned.
It seemed they were being used for advertising.
Meanwhile, the chat was flooded with messages.
True fans, fake fans, and bystanders all poured in, busy scanning QR codes for cash red envelopes, sending messages, and asking questions in the chat box, too occupied to bother with Weibo.
“The first episode of ‘Crown Prosecutor’ Season One officially begins!”
The screen and camera angles shifted, focusing on the news subjects seated opposite each other.
The host began narrating the timeline of the plagiarism scandal, with the camera sweeping over each guest’s face.
The chat was so thick it completely obscured faces.
After the host finished explaining the background and cause, he asked, “Do the guests have anything to add?”
Huo Ren nodded slightly: “No.”
Nut raised his hand, indicating he had something to say: “The evidence of Xie Lianyun’s plagiarism—”
“This guest, please mind your language,” the host said with a calm smile. “It’s ‘suspected’ or ‘alleged’. This matter has not been concluded yet.”
“The evidence of Xie Lianyun’s suspected plagiarism isn’t just three items, my video has fifteen, and you didn’t clarify that!”
“This guest, please don’t be overly excited. We’re still in the introduction phase for the parties involved.”
Online arguments, usually based on avatars, text, and images, have an abstract feel to them. But bringing the dispute back to an offline setting has an effect similar to a revealing mirror.
Even though the official debate hasn’t started yet, just comparing the appearances, demeanor, and poise of the two sides shows a stark contrast.
All six members of Corona are young, handsome, and polite.
Each of them sits elegantly, manages their expressions well, and occasionally waves at the camera with a smile.
“I have a question,” Huo Ren suddenly spoke up.
“I’d like to ask about the people next to Nut. What is their relationship to him?”
Nut quickly answered, “We are friends and relatives, both in real life and online.”
Huo Ren hummed, then turned his gaze to the insider beside Nut, “And you are?”
“I’m his college classmate.”
“Which department are you from?”
The insider hesitated for a moment, then quickly said, “Accounting!”
Actually, she was a negotiation expert hired by Nut’s behind-the-scenes team, ready to twist facts and pin Xie Lianyun down.
Understanding her ploy, Huo Ren nodded and asked casually, “Since you’re from the Accounting department, could you briefly explain the Lagrange theorem?”
The insider was stumped.
Lagrange? What was that?
“Are you not a third-year accounting student? Haven’t you heard of this?” Huo Ren asked kindly. “Could you then explain any of your professional knowledge to prove your identity?”
“Host—” another insider next to Nut rang a bell, “This is unrelated to music. We reserve the right not to answer!”
“In that case,” Huo Ren turned to the camera, “I think the audience can see for themselves who is sitting beside him.”
The comments section erupted with rapid messages.
“Given this, let’s move on to the first segment,” the male host smoothly transitioned, “Please provide your formal statements regarding the plagiarism incident.”
The insider next to Nut immediately tried to stand up to seize the initiative, but was pushed back down by the male host: “Sir, even in a live broadcast, please respect the order, okay?”
The insider was baffled.
“Due to the special nature of this case, we need to insert a short animated clip to provide a simple explanation of the music composition process.”
All the spokespersons on Nut’s side tensed up.
This was an unexpected turn – an animated explanation?
Despite the comments still trying to get the camera to focus on the handsome young men, the screen switched to an enticing and sweet animation.
“Let’s say we fancy a bunch of blueberries and want to turn them into a delicious cake.”
“This bunch of blueberries, appearing repeatedly, represents the ‘motivic idea’ in music composition.”
The audience watched in silence through the three-minute video of blueberry cake baking.
From the making of blueberry jam (melodic direction), to the flavoring and layering of the cake base (musical key), to the decoration of a Black Forest blueberry cream cake (arrangement), the cute and delicious video was captivating.
The comments section was in a daze.
Huo Ren leaned his chin on the back of his hand, a smile curling at the corner of his lips.
The team hired by President Pei is reliable… This video could even be used as teaching material in music schools.
“Now, let’s hear the first statement from the red side.”
Xie Lianyun took the microphone, speaking calmly: “I have a question for Nut and his friends.”
“When you judged the plagiarism, did you possess basic music theory knowledge?”
“Of course,” Nut finally followed the script prepared by his company: “We conducted a multi-dimensional investigation and found many similarities.”
“Very good,” Xie Lianyun suddenly smiled.
The electronic screen switched to his four pieces of original music scores.
“These are scores from my old and new albums, with song titles marked accordingly.” Xie Lianyun stood up slowly, his eyes suddenly sharp: “Please, personally identify the ‘motivic idea’ of these four compositions.”
The ‘motivic idea’ in music is essentially the classic core that serves as the theme of the piece.
The simplest examples are the opening ‘dum dum dum dum’ of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” or the first line of “Happy Birthday,” where the entire piece is variations and modulations of the same phrase.
Nut instantly turned his head, seeking help from others.
He could recite scripts, but reading music scores on the spot was a sure way to ruin the show.
Xie Lianyun didn’t give Nut more time to respond.
“Are you not able to answer yourself?”
“I’m not,” Nut firmly stated. “The evidence I have provided is already sufficient.”
“Can you hum the ‘motivic idea’ of any one of my songs?”
The comment section turned into a scene of eager students racing to answer.
Nut, seeing the rolling comments, struggled to maintain his composure and retorted, “I mostly handle video editing and rendering. Why are you only questioning me?!”
“So,” Bo Jue spoke up softly, “as the involved party, you actually have no concept of music theory, is that correct?”
These two consecutive questions cornered him completely.
If Nut admitted his lack of music theory knowledge, it would contradict his previous claims and be a self-defeating argument.
If he insisted he understood, then proving it on the spot would reveal the truth.
“The red side shouldn’t try to shift the topic,” another insider next to Nut stood up to intervene. “Regarding the similarities between Xie Lianyun’s original compositions and the works of seniors like Mei Heng, how do you respond?”
“If a cake, in aspects like baking time, filling, and cream selection, is exactly the same, then indeed there’s a strong suspicion of plagiarism,” Huo Ren responded promptly. “But if Xie Lianyun’s work has a few blueberries sprinkled in, and the seniors’ works also had blueberries, can these two be equated?”
The comments doubled in number, echoing the sentiment.
The distinction between right and wrong couldn’t be clearer.
SPF’s arranged trending topics swiftly climbed to the top, sparing no expense at this crucial moment.
– Xie Lianyun’s Commanding Moment
– Nut Lacks Basic Music Theory Knowledge
– Nut Self-Contradicts Live
All the humiliation and indignation were being paid back in full.
From the moment Xie Lianyun stepped forward to turn the online tirade into a face-to-face questioning, the battle was half won.
Keyboard warriors never exist in reality; they only dare to vent their anger behind the anonymity of their screens.
Nut and his insiders were forced into confrontation by public opinion, but no amount of preparation could withstand control of the scene and logical coherence.
As public opinion completely turned, the live broadcast surpassed a million viewers, occasionally stuttering due to the overwhelming traffic.
At this moment, Nut’s team realized there was no chance of turning the situation around and decided to leave before revealing more details, fearing further embarrassment. Continuing the debate would only serve to strengthen Corona’s position and make their prepared arguments seem like a joke.
“Sorry, we are limited in time and can only broadcast up to this point,” they announced.
The host glanced at his watch, “It’s only been twenty minutes.”
“This was communicated in advance,” the person in charge glared at Nut, his tone firm: “You controlled the process, and we had no real chance to defend ourselves, right?”
“Hold on, I have one more question,” Xie Lianyun suddenly spoke up again.
“You collectively edited the video and fabricated so many accusations against me, was it for justice?”
He already knew the answer.
This question was just to reiterate the point for the audience.
Nut, with a pale face, glanced at Xie Lianyun and hurriedly left the scene.
As his figure disappeared from the screen, the live comments erupted.
The hosts bowed and exited, and the electronic screen and long table were removed.
Bo Jue took the microphone, still appearing cool and proud.
“Although they have left, the show must go on.”
The audience’s spirits lifted.
Wasn’t this exciting enough? What more could there be?
“In the documentary ‘The Birth of the Crown,’ we once revealed the production process of our first album.”
Bo Jue turned to the side as a grand piano was rolled in and secured.
“Actually, all members of Corona possess the ability to compose with just three notes.”
“This is also a basic skill in classical music.”
Someone handed him a glass box with dice inside, each adorned with a small crown.
“Let’s try improvisational composition with dice.”
The first to go was Long Jia.
With the three notes determined by the dice, he effortlessly began to play and compose on the spot, his fingers moving like graceful birds in flight.
The style was unexpectedly a free-spirited soul music.
Following were Mei Shengyao, Chi Ji, Bo Jue, and Huo Ren. Each one took turns sitting at the piano, smiling comfortably at the camera. Their fingers danced over the keys, weaving music as beautiful and radiant as a sunrise after a rain. Each had a distinct style, and they were all improvising live on the broadcast.
They seamlessly connected three notes into three musical phrases, which then formed complete musical movements.
Finally, it was Xie Lianyun’s turn. After rolling the dice and exchanging a look with Bo Jue, he sat in front of the glossy black grand piano and began to compose with just three keys.
He finished the first piece smoothly, then, without hesitation, switched styles and started the second. From jazz to rock piano, from country to classical rhapsody, he even began warming up for the next piece while composing the current one. He elegantly incorporated and repeated the styles of his four teammates, his proud and confident demeanor unmistakable.
Such a prodigiously talented individual, bordering on arrogance, how could he possibly resort to plagiarism?
He belonged at the zenith of the music world, creating magnificent, world-shaking symphonies.
His long, powerful fingers moved across the black and white keys, his phoenix eyes blending coldness and pride.
The audience watched the powerful live performance, spellbound, and it took them a moment to start commenting and joining the discussion.
Bo Jue, who had been ready for a fierce rebuttal, found the opposition leaving midway through the live broadcast, leaving him slightly unsatisfied.
He looked into the camera again, revealing the real focus of today’s event.
“Corona has been on this journey for three years now.”
“With endless rumors and criticisms, we decided to launch ‘Crown Prosecutor’ to address these issues in a live broadcast in an interesting way.”
“From now on, we will join this live variety show every month to discuss and interact closely with everyone.”
This plagiarism controversy provided a perfect opportunity for Ye Huo Live Broadcast to gain significant attention and establish an official platform for dispelling rumors.
The other five members stood beside him, and the six bowed together in unison.
“The path is long, but Corona is grateful for your support.”
Uncle Jiang did not go to the Ye Huo Live Broadcast scene.
He, along with Qi Ding, worked overtime to sort and compare all the clues, eventually inviting the head of Shi Rong Media for a dinner meeting.
Business people typically avoid overt confrontations, even if they are metaphorically stabbing each other in the back. They still maintain cordiality in person, shaking hands and greeting each other warmly.
Chen was currently in a difficult position.
He had been approached by these individuals several times and, ultimately, had no choice but to attend this dinner, facing immense pressure.
Their original intention was to bring down Corona. If successful, they didn’t know how much of the major share of the business they could carve out for themselves.
But no matter what they tried, they couldn’t pull Corona down from their pedestal. Even with the explosive scandal like the abuse accusations, Corona managed to counterattack, and now with the plagiarism accusations, they had completely turned the public opinion in their favor. Chen and the other companies involved didn’t reap any benefits, despite spending a lot on business operations.
Having botched this attempt, Qi, the head of Qi Ding Media, personally approached him, and avoiding this situation would be like an indirect admission of guilt.
There was little conversation among the dozen people at the dinner table.
The atmosphere, context, and timing were too chaotic; everyone knew the situation well, and no one dared to speak first.
It felt like a strategic dinner gathering.
People from Shi Rong Media were waiting to see Chen’s reaction, while Qi was leisurely eating his sea cucumber rice, not in a hurry.
Chen, after holding back for a while, realized even Uncle Jiang didn’t take him seriously and tentatively spoke up.
“How… how’s the taste?” he asked.
Qi knew Chen was just a scapegoat pushed to the forefront and that there were likely spies from other companies present.
“It’s the era of big film and television now,” Qi said slowly. “It’s no secret.”
Corona is aiming for the top OSC award in Asia and won’t participate in related film and TV production or training, but this doesn’t mean SPF won’t seize opportunities in this field.
“In fact, Hongguang Media and Minghuang Entertainment have already reached an A-level cooperation consensus.”
He looked at everyone, still speaking at a measured pace.
“It seems we need to be more stringent in selecting actors for big productions and TV dramas.”
Guess how many good film offers your rising artists will receive now?
“Does this mean the rumors of Director Bai returning to develop in the country are true?!” Chen’s face suddenly changed, and he spoke anxiously. “Someone had mentioned before—”
Director Bai’s stature was indeed enormous, and they hadn’t taken the rumors seriously when they first heard them.
Director Bai’s return would mean the mainstay of Minghuang Entertainment was back, bolstering SPF significantly.
“I don’t need to hide much,” Qi sipped his drink, his fingers lightly moving. “He once brought Jiang Yanzi all the way to the world-class Golden Globe Awards. The resources he brings back this time are only more, not less.”
Mediocre directors are a dime a dozen in the domestic film industry, and directors capable of producing high-quality, high-box-office films have successively retired, leaving the movie market languishing for years.
“You don’t realize what it means to cross SPF.”
Before Chen could respond, the major shareholder of Lizhi Culture stood up: “Mr. Qi—some things need to be made clear. Our company has always been clean and never engages in offending others!”
Chen, grinding his teeth, glared at the opportunist who kicked him when he was down and decided to be frank: “Be it a blacklist or an avoidance mechanism, if you intend to target those who stir trouble, there’s nothing we can do to plead for them.”
“But Mr. Qi, you’re a wise man. I, Chen, am just a scapegoat—”
“We do have many methods to use at our leisure,” Mr. Qi allowed a subordinate to light a cigarette for him, squinting his eyes at them. “The knife is hanging over your heads, and now you’re afraid?”
“Well then. Fear should be accompanied by sincere actions.” He leaned forward, saying with relish, “Sacrificing the scapegoat as a warning to others, shall we?”
The night the live broadcast ended, an anonymous account leaked chat records.
And it also implicated ‘Nut is not a fruit.’
– “Xie Lianyun, that idiot, just wait for his doom.”
– “Your editing and comparison have no effect online. Who cares about plagiarism?”
– “I’ll teach you a trick, call it ‘mutual downfall’—tie Xie Lianyun’s work with those old stars and veterans. That will incite public anger, making him look dirty.”
– “For this job, I need extra payment. Transfer it to my account.”
Nut never expected to be backstabbed like this, and finally panicked to the point of losing control.
He tried calling the people from the so-called music company, but not only were the phone numbers disconnected, even the address turned out to be a fake for a shell company.
“It’s over. I’ve been used. I’m finished.”
If the challenge and live broadcast double strike were already solid proof, this was akin to blowing up the enemy’s headquarters.
The public, realizing they’d been played again, were furiously incensed.
“It was you who started the anti-plagiarism crusade, always parading Xie Lianyun and other top stars—have you no shame??”
“No wonder you ran off in the middle of the broadcast. Haha, I’m not taking sides in such drama online anymore. Using people’s kindness to make money without fearing hell.”
“Corona must have been targeted by someone, right?? First Huo Ren, now Xie Lianyun, and the year is not even half over. How many times do they plan to use the internet users as their tool? We’re not being paid for this, are we??”
Nut’s chat records and Corona’s stunning moments simultaneously re-emerged on the trending searches.
Details from the chat logs, transaction records, Nut’s mockery and insults towards Corona’s members were continuously being exposed.
SPF officially chose to file a lawsuit.
— This meant that Nut was facing a bill for potentially hundreds of thousands in damages for defamation.
The internet was abuzz with the development.
From now on, anyone spreading rumors about Corona might be thoroughly investigated and could possibly be completely cleaned out by the legal team.
Nut issued an apology statement almost overnight, but it was already too late.
He was about to pay a heavy price for this debacle.
As the storm subsided, the six members of Corona returned to their seventeenth-floor residence.
While most things were getting back on track, the doctor said Huo Ren’s injury needed to be assessed after the stitches were removed.
There was a healing cut near his right eyebrow.
Despite having a concert scheduled in three months, President Pei and the company had halted most of Huo Ren’s training, allowing him to recover peacefully.
When Xie Lianyun returned to the dormitory, his face was devoid of smiles.
He repeatedly looked at the healing part of Huo Ren’s eyebrow, his eyes filled with guilt and restraint.
“Ren Ren…” the young man said hoarsely, “It’s my fault.”
Huo Ren patted his shoulder: “The scab will fall off in a few days, and there won’t be a scar.”
“And even if there is, we can just cover it up with concealer during the shows. It’s not a big deal.”
Xie Lianyun became unusually serious.
To be precise, wherever Huo Ren went, he followed.
If Huo Ren played the piano, he would stand by his side turning the pages.
If Huo Ren ate, he would be there to pass the chopsticks.
Eventually, even Long Jia became irritated.
“Xie, sit down! Can you heal Huo Huo’s scar by staring at it?!”
Bo Jue, sitting nearby and peeling an orange for Huo Ren, commented: “Serves him right.”
“Brother Xie,” Huo Ren said with a helpless smile while biting into an orange, “you really don’t have to do this. It wasn’t you who caused the injury, right? I know you care about me the most.”
“There’s no ‘the most’. Bo Jue cares about you a bit more,” Xie Lianyun admitted, his voice getting softer, “I don’t even know how to be good to you…”
He had always told Huo Ren to protect his face, and now he felt guilty for his brother’s injury.
When Huo Ren was seventeen or eighteen and occasionally got a few pimples, Xie Lianyun, Bo Jue, and Xiao Chi, all being very particular about appearance, would fuss over him, ensuring his skin was properly cared for.
With the scar not yet healed, Xie Lianyun’s heart was heavy, unable to relax.
While Huo Ren rested at home, the others stayed with him, working on the album and writing songs, enjoying a rare brief holiday.
Only Xie Lianyun shut himself in his room, not even coming out for meals.
Xiao Chi checked on him several times, and finally, he and Huo Ren stood at the door, knocking.
Xiao Chi knocked again, calling out loudly.
Footsteps were heard inside the room, followed by the sound of the door being locked.
“I don’t want to hear you play piano or sing,” Xie Lianyun said, his back against the door, sounding dejected, “You should go.”
Xiao Chi stood obediently at the door for a while, then knocked again.
“Do you want to build a snowman?”
The author has a message to say:
Xie Lianyun: What’s with all these Broadway folks??
“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” is a famous song from “Frozen.”
It’s okay if you haven’t heard it… Here, Xiaochi is just being cute behind the door x
For the newcomers, let me explain.
“Second Update” = 6000 words
“Third update” = 9000 words
These are all released in the same chapter together. Posting them separately often leads to people missing parts.
Lately, it’s been “Er Geng” to “San Geng” every day, don’t be mistaken…
Thank you all for your nutrient solutions and rewards for chasing updates, muah! Muah! xoxo!
Did anyone notice? Ye Huo Live Broadcast. Ye from Pei Ruye and Huo from Huo Ren. It couldn’t be more obvious.