Chapter 128 – Continuing the Reversal
Not long after the barrage in the live stream quieted down, a message appeared before the eyes of the viewers –
[I’m sorry, for doubting you who ignited my longing.]
This message seemed to unlock the chains in the hearts of the onlookers, and one after another, apologies flooded the screen. They didn’t know if the creator of “Light” could see these messages, and they didn’t know if he could perceive their guilt. These apologies were just their way of expressing remorse.
Many people even exited the live streaming page and went to the official Dream Cup Weibo account to apologize. One person wrote:
[I have personally seen the work ‘Light,’ and I cannot describe the emotions I felt when I saw it for the first time. But I knew that I was deeply captivated by this painting from that moment. In just one glance, I fell in love with it, as it taught me about life, resilience, and desire. However, when the rumors appeared, I began to doubt it. How could something so outstanding be plagiarized? Why did I doubt it? Here, I want to apologize to the Dream Cup organizing committee, to the perfect work ‘Light,’ and especially to the great artist who created ‘Light.’ I’m sorry.]
As more comments of apology appeared, more and more people followed suit and apologized as well.
In reality, many netizens weren’t inherently bad; they simply lacked their own judgment and were easily influenced by others, making decisions based on emotions. They became tools in the hands of others, sharp weapons wielded effortlessly.
However, once these people realized their mistakes, they wouldn’t stubbornly persist in their wrong ways. Instead, they might feel guilty for inadvertently promoting false information and would choose to apologize.
The official Weibo account of the Dream Cup soon noticed this phenomenon and reposted one of the comments, replying: [Progress comes from questioning, and the Dream Cup welcomes supervision from all walks of society. We will adhere to our principles, so that everyone who carries the dream of art can one day realize their aspirations.]
Regardless of the consequences of posting this Weibo, the paid water armies and marketing accounts, seeing the overwhelmingly one-sided situation, were desperate and eager to manipulate the situation by typing on their keyboards. However, just then, their doors were knocked on.
When they went to open the door, they were handcuffed by uniformed police officers. Charges of spreading rumors and false information were enough to keep them at the police station for a few days.
With the absence of marketing accounts and water armies manipulating the narrative, the Dream Cup press conference, although only half-held, had already presented an overwhelmingly one-sided scenario online. No one was claiming that “Light” was a plagiarism anymore.
At this moment, the Dream Cup press conference continued. As Wang Weisheng presented all the evidence, proving that he was the one who had plagiarized, some reporters in the audience were still slow to react.
Reversal! The turnaround happened so quickly, and it was the parties involved who stepped forward to reverse the plot. A quick-thinking reporter raised the microphone and asked Wang Weisheng, “Since Wei Chen already knows that you plagiarized, why didn’t you withdraw from the competition? By withdrawing, this huge misunderstanding today wouldn’t have happened.” The reporter’s question hit the bullseye.
“Because of wishful thinking,” Wang Weisheng replied. “Although I didn’t grasp the essence of ‘Light’ in my copy, the concept behind ‘Light’ was so good that I thought even without fully understanding it, I could still make it to the finals of the regional competition. Once I made it to the finals, there would be a substantial cash prize and an opportunity for an exhibition. So, I continued to participate with a wishful thinking mindset.”
The reporter continued to ask, “Since you already knew that Wei Chen had evidence, why didn’t you inform the person who instructed you? Why did you let the situation continue to escalate?”
Wang Weisheng smiled with some self-mockery and said, “It all comes down to money. Otherwise, how do you think the person who instructed me got hold of that disputed portion of the recording?”
The reporter understood Wang Weisheng’s implication and said, “Alright, I see. Thank you for your answers.”
And with that, the truth was revealed.
The painter of “Light” did not plagiarize, and Wei Chen did not threaten Wang Weisheng. Instead, he offered advice, asking Wang Weisheng to stop. However, due to greed, Wang Weisheng didn’t stop and even forwarded the most controversial part of the recording to the one who instructed him.
This chain of events led to the whole storm.
The painter of “Light” and Wei Chen were innocent. They were merely being manipulated by others.
“Mr. Zhao, can you reveal the person behind this storm?” a reporter asked.
Zhao Liyou replied, “After the press conference, we will hand over this evidence to the police, and they will find out who the mastermind is. Thank you all for your concern.”
This meant that the mastermind wouldn’t be disclosed publicly.
“Mr. Zhuge, the creator of ‘Light’ is your student. Can you share your evaluation of him?” The press conference was not over yet, and now that the truth was out, the reporters wanted to know more about this rising star in the art world, not just a rising star, but a shining one.
The impact caused by “Light” was evident to all. Zhuge Yu, the senior artist, had a promising disciple, and with Zhuge Yu’s guidance, this star would undoubtedly shine even brighter in the art world.
Zhuge Yu’s praise for Chen Li was always generous. “My student is excellent! He was born for painting.”
This high praise reflected Zhuge Yu’s satisfaction with his student. After all, if he wasn’t completely satisfied, he wouldn’t have cast his vote for his student without any reservation.
The reporters got their answers and turned their gaze to the prominent figure on the stage, Sylvester, and asked the question that everyone wanted to know, “Mr. Sylvester, why did you attend today’s press conference?” The reporter’s English was fluent, and his tone was respectful.
Sylvester knew that someone would ask him this question when he took the stage, so he had already prepared a set of words to say, “Of course, it’s for my student. He was being bullied, and I wanted to stand up for him. Even if I couldn’t do much for him, I wanted him to know that his teacher supports and believes in him!”
Zhuge Yu being the teacher of the creator of “Light” was not surprising to everyone, but they were curious about how the father of modern abstract art, Sylvester, was also his teacher?
However, upon reflection, people found it normal. With two masters like them, it was only natural for the creator of “Light” to produce such a painting. Moreover, with these two teachers, did the author of “Light” really need to resort to plagiarism?
When Zhuge Yu heard Sylvester claim to be Chen Li’s teacher, he glared at Sylvester fiercely and said in a low voice, “You have no shame. When did Xiao Li become your student?”
Sylvester smiled and replied, “When I taught him, he became my student!”
Zhuge Yu made a face at Sylvester and didn’t pursue the matter any further. With Sylvester’s support, Chen Li’s path in art would become even smoother, and he didn’t need to refuse.
Sylvester knew that Zhuge Yu had tacitly agreed, so he was in a good mood. When Chen Li returned, he would definitely convince him to become his student. It was an accomplishment to teach such a student.
After about ten minutes, the press conference ended.
The journalists packed up and left. They already had their stories for today and would record the truth in detail so that those who were still in the dark would know that “Light” was a great work and that plagiarism was not involved.
“Hey, you dropped your manuscript.” One journalist called out to another, who happened to be the one that Lu Xiuran had bribed.
However, this journalist ignored the call and left with his cameraman in a sorry state. He had been aggressive before, but now he looked very miserable.
The journalist who found the manuscript shook his head and laughed with sarcasm, “What a loser!”
Almost at the end of the press conference, the official Weibo account of Changfeng Group issued a statement accusing those who spread rumors and smeared Wei Chen. They mentioned these people’s accounts in the statement.
The statement was accompanied by a lawyer’s letter, stating that Changfeng Group had already sued those who spread rumors and had engaged a lawyer, ready to take legal action at any time.
Observant people noticed that the plaintiff in the lawsuit was Changfeng Group, not Wei Chen. In other words, the lawyer’s letter was issued in the name of Changfeng Group, showing that the company had full trust in Wei Chen and believed he was not involved in the rumored actions. They were willing to stand up for him.
Following Changfeng Group’s statement, Q University of Economics also released their statement.
The official Weibo of Q University of Economics straightforwardly presented Wei Chen’s achievements, activities, competitions, and awards during his university days, directly asking, “With such intensity of study and activities, when would he have time to do what was claimed in the rumors?”
Q University of Economics retweeted and commented: “Wei Chen is our outstanding graduate, who turned down multiple full scholarship offers from well-known foreign universities to stay in the country. He is an excellent Q University student and our pride.”
Even the official Weibo account of the Beijing Traffic Police retweeted: “Even this traffic police officer didn’t know about Wei Chen’s drunk driving and hit-and-run incident. How did you find out?”
Several other major companies’ official Weibo accounts retweeted Q University’s post with similar comments: “My company’s CEO said that Wei Chen is an outstanding person. This excellence is not only in his abilities but also in his character.”
The onlookers were stunned as one credible official account after another came forward to dispel the rumors about Wei Chen.
In the evening, the official Weibo account of the People’s Daily posted news that the Beijing police had arrested several people who spread rumors on Weibo and caused adverse effects.