School officially started in September and the traffic for movies and dramas was much lower than during the summer vacation period. Although many new dramas aired, none could surpass the popularity and sales volume of Folding Paper.
Many people on the Internet were saying that President Pei’s first production of Folding Paper might become the annual ratings champion.
In mid-September, the major platforms got the final version of Disappearing Traces and the executives were amazed after watching it. The drama was well-made and the plot was full of suspense. The final reversal was also unexpected. It might become another dark horse in the second half of the year. In order to surpass a drama produced by Pei Shaoze, they had to rely on Pei Shaoze himself!
Throughout the month of September, Cheng Xia was busy filming advertisements. Hand sanitizer, hand cream, snacks, drinks, clothing, car models… Zhou Yan had accepted seven or eight endorsements for him. He might be busy but the revenue from advertising expenses was considerable. Combined with the remuneration of the previous two dramas, Cheng Xia’s savings exceeded 8 million yuan.
He was busy in September and in the blink of an eye, it was October.
Rong City was a city with four distinct seasons. Autumn leaves were colorful. As people walked on the road, the withered leaves rustled, yellow leaves blew through the air and the withered flowers on the roadside made people feel the bleakness of autumn. However, Autumn was also a good harvest season.
In October, Disappearing Traces was officially released.
Cheng Xia also forwarded the publicity of the official Weibo page. [Congratulations, Disappearing Traces will air on all platforms on October 10th! I am playing Xu Ziyang, a trainee criminal investigations police officer. At 8 p.m. on October 10th, the drama can be seen on all major platforms. I hope you will like it [Heart]]
Recently, the messages under Cheng Xia’s Weibo weren’t as fierce as they were some time ago. Most of them were encouragement from fans. Now Cheng Xia’s Weibo had 12 million followers. Many people who were following him after the release of Folding Paper or due to various advertising endorsements only just discovered that Cheng Xia’s new drama would be released so soon!
They clicked into the post to see that it was a suspense drama personally directed by Zhu Zheng and Cheng Xia was playing a criminal investigations trainee police officer?!
The new fans were stunned. [Does Xia Xia want to play an alpha this time?]
[Cheng Xia doesn’t act according to common sense. I thought he would continue to act in school dramas next!]
[Usually, newcomers will perform in several idol dramas. Isn’t his span a bit too big?]
Cheng Xia thought to himself that he just wanted to try out a variety of roles. His interpretation of Xu Ziyang would definitely bring surprises to everyone.
On October 10th, Disappearing Traces premiered. The actors, directors, and investors in the circle were very surprised. They thought that since President Pei worked well with Linghu TV last time, Disappearing Traces would also be broadcasted exclusively on Linghu. Unexpectedly, it was the all platforms mode. For a while, Little Bear TV, Chinchilla TV, Dream Video, Linghu TV…
The front page of all broadcasting platforms in the country had a huge poster of Disappearing Traces hung on it!
On this day, anyone who clicked onto the broadcasting platforms would know the news of the launch of Disappearing Traces which was more effective than a hot search. Pei Shaoze didn’t spend much money on publicity fees. In order to compete for traffic, all major websites were helping him publicize. This was the advantage of the win-win competition. How much they earned depended on how much traffic they could attract.
All the major websites weren’t stupid. They would naturally focus on publicizing this play in October in order to gain a wave of achievements before the end of the year.
Just like Folding Paper changed the posters every day, the major websites followed suit and made many posters to rotate them. The largest video review website in China even had a poll asking ‘Which website’s poster is more beautiful?’
The result was that more than 50% of the registered members of the major platforms were channeled to this new drama. The rest were those not interested in suspense dramas or who were timid and didn’t want to see bloody scenes.
This world had a population of more than 10 billion and there were more than 800 million users who registered for the major broadcasting platforms. Some people were registered members for several platforms at the same time. The flow triggered by the simultaneous broadcast on all platforms wasn’t comparable to Linghu TV which played Folding Paper in summer.
On the day of the premiere, Pei Shaoze’s phone was blown up.
First, Mr Liu excitedly reported the good news. “President Pei, the statistics of Linghu TV’s backend has come out. Only the first episode was played today but in less than 24 hours, the backstage broadcast volume has exceeded 100 million!”
Breaking 100 million with one episode was the precursor of a big breakout.
Immediately after that, the other platforms also called. “President Pei, our broadcast volume has exceeded 100 million!”
“President Pei, the daily broadcast volume of Little Bear TV has exceeded 150 million!”
Good news came from the major platforms but Pei Shaoze wasn’t excited. This was already within his expectations. He was more concerned about the netizens’ evaluation of Cheng Xia.
Pei Shaoze personally opened the video and watched the first episode from beginning to end. In just a few hours, the first episode had more than 200,000 views. At first, many netizens on the barrage questioned it. [I heard there is an omega playing a criminal investigations police officer in this drama. I want to see if he will overturn!]
[An omega is really courageous to play an alpha. I’m watching with curiosity!]
[Cheng Xia can play a student in a school drama but he might not necessarily be good at playing a police officer!]
After all, Cheng Xia was young and the protagonist of a school drama is a relatively simple role. His performance in Folding Paper had won the recognition of most netizens and book fans but the transition from a ‘school drama’ to a ‘hardcore suspense drama’ was too big.
A suspense drama wasn’t a place for romance. Once the acting wasn’t good, the whole drama would become a failure. The other actors were all veteran actors familiar to everyone. Only Cheng Xia was the most uncertain factor in the drama. It was normal for people to question Cheng Xia’s acting skills.
Of course, there were also some competitors who bought a water army to sneer in the barrage area and even deliberately led the battle with, [Cheng Xia won the role by sleeping with the boss.]
Cheng Xia’s fans were so angry that they scolded these people back. [If you’re blind, go and watch the live broadcast of the trial again?]
[Sleep, do you only have sleep in your mind?]
[Where did these rural people get Internet access? Still talking about things that have been clarified a long time ago?]
[Some people keep splashing dirty water. The malice toward omega actors is really suffocating!]
Pei Shaoze, “……”
Cheng Xia’s fan group was very combative. The water army who ran to blacken Cheng Xia was scolded and had no fighting power. However, fans were too embarrassed to scold the netizens who questioned Cheng Xia’s acting skills. After all, who would dare to guarantee that Cheng Xia could play the role of an alpha police officer well?
In the first episode, the plot unfolded slowly. Xu Ziyang graduated from the police academy and reported to the criminal investigations team. The group leader handed him his brand-new police uniform and his eyes brightened. His fingers carefully stroked the collar and his excited mood was vividly interpreted by Cheng Xia.
After returning to the dormitory, he changed into the police uniform in front of the mirror and saluted at the mirror. He was a young police officer with a bright smile. From every angle, he was handsome and compelling.
The direction in the barrage gradually changed. [There is no sense of violation. Cheng Xia is a sunny and handsome person and it’s actually suitable for him to play this role.]
[Our Xia Xia is really handsome in the uniform. I want to throw him down!]
[Throw him down +1]
[Throw him down + ID number!]
The first episode gradually got to the better part of the plot. Xu Ziyang returned to his uncle’s house for dinner and the family had a joyful meal. Xu Ziyang also bought gifts for his younger cousins. Then after dinner, he received a call from his classmates asking him to come out for his birthday celebration. Xu Ziyang said goodbye to his uncle and turned to leave.
The screen changed and the time came to noon the next day. Xu Ziyang came home. There was blood all over the ground, his uncle’s staring eyes, his aunt who was covered in stab wounds, and his cousins who were dismembered…
During the audition, Cheng Xia’s performance in this scene was acknowledged by the director. In the later shooting, the details were more perfect. Along with the blood corpse props on the scene, the visual show to the audience was even greater!
Cheng Xia choked up and cried at the door after the phone call. It was a silent, repressed crying that was more contagious than howling. His shoulders trembled and he covered his mouth as tears fell like an open tap.
He had lost his parents when he was a child and his uncle’s family treated him like he was their own. This house was the place where he grew up. Last night, he ate happily with his uncle’s family. As a result, today his uncle’s family was killed! Seeing the mutilated corpses of his relatives, Xu Ziyang also felt like his heart had been chopped to pieces and was dripping with blood!
This crying scene accompanied by the sad music and the blood and limbs everywhere…
Even Pei Shaoze felt his eyes becoming a bit hot.
Cheng Xia cried and his whole body kept shaking.
The barrage area was going crazy. [I cried watching it…]
[Too miserable. All the relatives who raised him were killed!]
[The sister was also cut at the waist. It’s too tragic…]
[If it was me who saw the scene of my family’s tragic death, I would go crazy on the spot.]
[I am an alpha watching it and my eyes are sore. I haven’t shed tears in a long time watching a drama. Ah, so cruel…]
Cheng Xia’s crying scene was very infectious. He cried regardless of his appearance. His face was covered with tears. At first glance, he was really crying rather than adding a few drops of eye drops for show.
The audience could actually feel it if an actor was really crying or fake crying. This crying scene made many viewers think differently of Cheng Xia. Once the first episode aired, the wind in the comments area started to reverse by 180 degrees.
[Cheng Xia is so awesome. I completely forgot he’s an omega when watching the drama.]
[This reversal is very good. The crying scene is too powerful. I think that Cheng Xia is a treasure among the newcomers who debuted this year.]
[This acting is better than others who have debuted for several years and are still acting in idol dramas!]
There were more praises about Cheng Xia’s acting skills and fans on Cheng Xia’s Weibo started to line up to fill the screen with messages. Even Ye Mingqian, an omega actor praised for his crying scenes in the industry, personally reposted Cheng Xia’s Weibo and said, [Cheng Xia is amazing. I almost cried in the first episode.]
Shen Kai also wrote on Weibo. [I’m following Cheng Xia’s new drama!]
The singer Chen Yijun praised him, [My brother Cheng Xia is awesome. Everyone, come and watch Disappearing Traces!]
Chen Yijun had filmed an MV with Cheng Xia while Ye Mingqian and Shen Kai both met in the crew of Folding Paper. These people took the initiative to forward the Weibo post to help with publicity and it could be seen that Cheng Xia’s popularity in the circle was very good.
Cheng Xia was happy seeing the screen full of praise and hurriedly sent a message to Pei Shaoze. [Brother Pei, they are all complimenting me!]
Pei Shaoze imagined Cheng Xia holding his phone with excitement and chuckled. He typed, [Then should I praise you as well?]
Cheng Xia quickly nodded. [Yes, I will give you an opportunity to perform.]
Pei Shaoze suppressed his smile and boasted. [You acted really well in this drama. My Cheng Xia is a talented actor. Compared to Folding Paper, there is a significant improvement. Among the newcomers who debuted in recent years, your acting skills are one of the best.]
Cheng Xia’s mood was about to fly into the sky as he replied to Pei Shaoze with a row of hugging emojis.
Pei Shaoze continued. [My phone was blowing up just now. The results of Disappearing Traces are very good. It premiered today and the number of views on each platform exceeded 100 million. Excluding the repeated views, it was shown on all platforms and the amount should be 200 to 300 million.]
Cheng Xia was stunned. [So much?]
Folding Paper’s first day only had one million views. He hadn’t expected Disappearing Traces to start off so fiercely. Cheng Xia was a bit worried. Would this drama start off high and then go low?
Pei Shaoze told him, [Believe in my vision. Disappearing Traces will be the biggest dark horse of this year.]
This time, Disappearing Traces used the advance-on-demand method rather than the payment method of Folding Paper.
The advance-on-demand mode was more effective for a suspense drama than other dramas. After all, the plot was intense and exciting. Everyone was very anxious to see the later plot. They wanted to know who the murderer was and to see the murderer with a high IQ brought to justice.
The drama had a total of 12 episodes and six episodes were left for the advance-on-demand model. Each episode cost 2 yuan for a total of 12 yuan.
This price wasn’t expensive for the advance-on-demand mode and Disappearing Traces was well-made. The quality was comparable to a movie. A 90-minute suspense movie cost 30 yuan while this was six episodes for 12 yuan. For viewers who liked suspense dramas, it really wasn’t expensive.
On the first day of the launch of the advance-on-demand mode, the sales of all major platforms exceeded 100 million!
Pei Shaoze became the first investor in the circle to recover costs and double his money on the first day. However, he wasn’t just content to make money.
That night, Pei Shaoze called Cheng Xia and said, “There will be an online drama awards ceremony at the end of the year. I will nominate both dramas. It’s unlikely you’ll make the cut for Best Actor in an Online Drama for Folding Paper. You would at best get lucky to receive a nomination. Disappearing Traces will be nominated for more awards such as Best Director, Best Screenwriter, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor in an Online Drama.”
Cheng Xia froze for a long time before recovering. “A-Awards? I just debuted. Can I win?”
Pei Shaoze told him, “The online drama competition isn’t fierce this year. Online dramas are just a stepping stone for you. Believe me, you can win.”
Cheng Xia was immediately full of confidence. “If Brother Pei says I can then it’s certain!”
Pei Shaoze, “……”
The blind trust warmed Pei Shaoze’s heart. He wanted to protect his Cheng Xia who was moving step by step to the peak. The Best Supporting Actor in an online drama was just the beginning. In the future, his Cheng Xia would become the movie emperor and even win international awards.