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(The First)

“I won’t say a thing. It’s just strangely embarrassing looking at these since I’m really not sacrificing anything!” Lu Man chuckled helplessly.

“But the ending’s all the same,” Principal Liu said. “Anyway, if I say that you’re staying for the school, then you are staying for the school.”

Lu Man was grateful—Principal Liu was doing it all for her.

“Alright.” Lu Man nodded. “Thank you.”

She wouldn’t put on a pretense, acting like “you’re all so fake, I’m the only honest person here,” for that would be an utter waste of Principal Liu’s considerations.

At this moment, the principal of Donghua Academy of Drama also spoke up. “Regarding the issue of our team of exchange students participating in the exchange competition at New York, you netizens might not have known about it, hence not realizing that every year, our students there would take part in the friendly competition. It’s a bit embarrassing to say that we’ve never won once. Not once.

“Ten students every year, and all had lost terribly. Not one winner. This time, New York University is sending their students over here for a friendly competition, and the winner can hang his flag on the losing party’s wall of fame. This is a matter of pride. It’s something worse than losing prize money—it’s unacceptable. To spell it out plainly, as the champion of the Chinese Arts Championships, Lu Man stood out the most from the performing schools across the nation. She’s currently the first among all of the country’s students majoring in acting.

“We’re not asking Lu Man to win the competition as that would be too demanding and the pressure will be too great. How can we ask her of that when we’ve never won before? We only hope that as the first across all the nation’s performing schools, she could join both competitions to increase our fighting chances.

“Lu Man knew this and accepted it. How great must her responsibility and pressure be? Still, she shouldered it by herself. It’s no longer about helping her school, it’s about fighting for the younger generation in our acting industry!

“The responsibility Lu Man took on is, frankly, totally unbeneficial to her. As she is the best, people will think it normal for her to win, and no one will know of her difficulties. If we lost, she’ll be blamed and criticized that she doesn’t deserve the title of “best,” that her acting skills are lacking and can’t compare to that of others. All the pressure is on her and she has nothing to gain from it. If she was truly for herself, she would’ve gone straight to New York and rejected our proposal. We can’t force her to accept either. If there was no issue of occupying the slot but not going to New York, I wouldn’t have done this, being forced to tell the truth. Even now, after the truth is out, Lu Man gained nothing from it, only greater pressure.”

The netizens were silent.

No one thought that it would be like this.

“I don’t know what others are thinking, but I’m stating here that I won’t pressure Lu Man. Just as Principal Liu said, we’ve never won before—we could even say that we were totally wiped out—and we can’t expect Lu Man to turn the tide on her own. It’s not a person’s responsibility, it’s everyone’s. Lu Man’s willingness to accept this now means that she’s living up to all the honors she had won. After so many years of defeat, nobody can ask for Lu Man to succeed this year.”

“That’s right, don’t give Lu Man pressure. We can support her, but don’t give willful demands. If we win, we have to see the hard work she put in; and if we lose, we can’t blame anyone. Not only Lu Man, the others in the team just have to do your best. Our local entertainment industry already differ from Hollywood greatly, but we can slowly improve ourselves and catch up to them one day.”



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