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Equivalent Exchange

There was actually a method to determine the extent of a character card’s popularity. The aforementioned quality would be directly proportional to the duration of a character card’s tenure. A character that remained highly popular for a lengthy period only attested for its own popularity. Some highly popular characters were only one step from iconic status. What little they lacked in that aspect – all fell down to the most minute of details from their creators.

“Yu Shengfan” had been an unplanned accident. Zhao Youyue’s premature exit broke something in Rosemary. He could not bear destroying Yu Shengfan’s entire image, and was ardent on solidifying her status as an icon. Thus, he killed her off, cementing her fate in fiction and reality.

Yu Shengfan would remain germane over the next decade. That duration told much about her popularity…

“Hua Xiaomao” in “Dog Days” was nowhere close to that realm. She only had six months of fame, at most. With time as a unit of measurement, one could tell how much of a gap lay between her and Yu Shengfan. The former could not even be compared to “Zhou Chun” in “The 4WD God.””The 4WD God” had been written upon a well-thought-out, solid foundation by a hand that carried years of experience, while “Dog Days” was the main piece of a newbie writer’s debut.

Zhao Youyue had propelled “Dog Days” to possibly undeserved heights using her influence. She was now its “Silver Sect Master.” Her real-world efforts had been more effective than anything else she had mustered in the literary world.

This was by no means her fault. She did not, or rather, could not place much effort into the settings of the character “Hua Xiaomao.” The character made little sense to her. “Dog Days” never had the makings of anything promising. Its writer, Sun Xian was mediocre at best. He had a long way to go before falling under the genius writer category. Moreover, he had been writing this story at a rather leisurely pace. Therefore, Zhao Youyue had to ensure that the character remained consistent to Sun Xian’s style. Otherwise, the entire story would be thrown off its axis.

Zhao Youyue was satisfied to walk out with a highly popular character card. The usefulness of its ability notwithstanding, it still served her for the greater good when the time came to stepping into a new literary world at her discretion. Its sacrifice just might open new paths to the creation of new iconic cards…

Highly popular cards; they played their roles well enough. What else could she use them for? Act cutely?

After Zhao Youyue made her early exit, the writer Sun Xian had been left dumbfounded. When he saw that Lady Zhao was one of his “Silver Sect Master’s,” he grew giddy with excitement, and released a public declaration stating that he would up the ante of his updates frequency to live up to such high expectations. He hoped that he had everyone’s support!

Sun Xian had been on cloud nine at that moment. Everytime he wrote about “Hua Xiaomao,” his writing became fluid and masterful, as if he had flipped on an illegal assistance program somewhere. At that rate, he had no need to concern himself over the high upgrade volume…

Therefore, he made such a promise with great confidence. It happened overnight. The assistance program vanished into thin air. “Hua Xiaomao” came at great, unassisted difficulty!

The readers had complimented on her past scenes on its bittersweet cuteness and endlessly fresh dynamics. His abrupt loss of ability to maintain such quality struck him hard.

He was no Rosemary. He had no desire or will to shape “Hua Xiaomao” up into an iconic character. He simply lacked the assertiveness and ambition to go that extra mile. Whenever that “intoxicated” sensation took hold of his senses, it had never once occurred to him that he could take it as a learning opportunity and further improve the quality of his work. He hitched a ride on the current and allowed the tide to take the wheel…

In a manner of speaking, everything that he had produced came solely from Zhao Youyue. This particular cultivation of a high popularity character card had been an equivalent exchange. Without Zhao Youyue, his “Dog Days” would have never even saw the light of recognition. Her departure led to an immediate downfall.

He lacked the talent and the ingenuity, but possessed all the ego and arrogance that the world could take. How did he even find fame?

Sun Xian certainly did not consider himself to have commited anything inappropriate, as he had never considered himself as a professional writer. Even so, wouldn’t the greenest of writers claim the opportunity for fame when it presented itself?

Therefore, some people might consider Zhao Youyue’s early departure to have been insincere. She had cheated Sun Xian of his glory. It was a heartless act. One would only have such thoughts if they do not turn back the pages to the source of it all. Without Zhao Youyue, how could Sun Xian earn fame at all? At most, he would only be somewhat reputable.

This was an era where people cared for nothing but entertainment value. Even those who had spilled blood, sweat and tears to produce work to the best of their abilities often wondered if it was not enough for that fame they sought. One had to either be a genius, or endowed with nothing but raw talent, to gain fame without a semblance of effort. Fame was theirs to take, but it was not free.

At this rate, Sun Xian would simply fall back to his old ways, resigned to the loss of this ‘intoxication.’ He was nothing like Rosemary. That man fell into depression and grief when his ‘intoxication’ abandoned him, feeling as if he had fallen from the good graces of the Goddess of Literature.

The laidback and run-of-the-mill Sun Xian took everything in stride with a shrug. He went back to his casual ways, his old leisurely self. The protagonist dog and supporting female president reclaimed the spotlight. Readers inadvertently left, as they were only there to read about “Mao Mao.” Although “Mao Mao” remained as a recurring character, she had already lost her essence. She no longer felt the same.

Undoubtedly, her descent had just only begun. It would not take long before she gets forgotten…

Sun Xian actually felt sorry for the Lady Zhao, who was his number one fan. After all, he had promised to amp up his updates for her sake. Clearly, he had failed to live up to his words. However, Zhao Youyue only graciously told him not to abandon the novel.

Lady Zhao was far too considerate. He did not expect such a perfect reader to exist in this world. Why were the other readers so fierce? They might just as well call for the heads of his entire family. What’s wrong with his slow updates? He was not pursuing the path of a greater God.

Great effort may not necessarily lead to success, but the lack of effort definitely leads to a blissful life. Those words were practically Sun Xian’s mantra!

Of course, Zhao Youyue only forgave Sun Xian because she had already achieved her goal. In terms of reading material, she had many more in her waiting list. Many excellent web novelists put lots of effort into updating their series. She could always opt for better, faster releases.

The money she put into sensationalizing his title was considered nothing more than food for dogs, and investments for high popularity cards.

She had better things to figure out now, such as what would happen if she activated “Hua Xiaomao’s card” in reality.