Chapter 914 Authentication
“This is straight-out plagiarism!” “The renowned richest man in Cittadel actually dares to use such despicable means in a public competition. Look what he’s done. He has humiliated himself in the global eye!”
“As expected, businessmen know nothing about respecting the dignity of citizens!” “People who publicly plagiarize the work of other contestants should have their competition rights revoked so that they don’t publicly embarrass themselves!”
As more voices of complaint sounded from the crowd, Raffle continued to add salt to the injury. “Alexander, do you have anything to say for yourself? Why does your design look exactly like Miss Amy’s?”
However, Alexander was unfazed as he reasoned, “Shouldn’t I be asking you that question? You’re the one responsible for auditing everyone’s work before they’re displayed to the public, but now, two similar works have been selected to continue the competition. How did you audit the works?”
“Uhm…” Raffle was instantly at a loss for words.
Wendy had let him have a glimpse of Smith Co.’s proposal beforehand and expressed her decision to make an exact copy of that proposal, which was why he deliberately arranged for Alexander to show his work after Tiana. That way, the whole world will naturally believe that Tiana’s design was original.
The reason Raffle did this was to humiliate Alexander and make the entire Cittadel believe that he was a scheming businessman who would do anything to achieve his goal. Since Raffle was so desperate to regain his dignity, he completely forgot that by doing so, he would also need to bear the responsibility for his actions.
Therefore, he frantically began to create excuses for himself. “I’m indeed responsible for auditing the drawings, but you waited until the last hour to submit your proposal. Out of my trust in Smith Co. and the fact that I needed to deal with the audience, I didn’t check those drawings as strictly as I should have. Still, I didn’t expect you’d betray my trust and do something so despicable!”
Raffle purposely placed the microphone near his lips. “At the very least, you shouldn’t have plagiarized so blatantly!”
Just like they had planned, they successfully influenced the crowd’s emotions as they began to voice their complaints. “That’s right. He must apologize! Smith Co. and Alexander must apologize and have their competition rights revoked!”
Meanwhile, Prince Caleb was also getting fidgety on stage. “Mr. Griffith, can you explain what’s going on? I remember you had previously held a media conference in respect to Amy. I don’t believe that you’d mistreat the beloved great designer, so please give me a reasonable explanation.”
“Why should I be the one to give an explanation?” Alexander had a mellow attitude when saying that. “Just because my work was displayed two minutes late, I must be the one plagiarizing?”
This showed that the volume of words did not necessarily always come from quantity. As long as one could point out the main problem in the matter, one might be able to make a turnaround. Precisely, Alexander’s words happened to shatter the crowd’s concept regarding presentation sequence and authenticity.
In fact, it would not be peculiar if the thief was the one making the accusations first. Therefore, one should not jump to conclusions so blindly. However, that concept seemed off when it was placed on Amy.
One was a businessman who suddenly began to learn fashion design, while the other was a worldwide renowned fashion designer. From the bigger picture, it was obvious who had the higher chance of being the copycat. However, since Alexander refused to admit that he did such a thing, coupled with his identity, the competition’s organizers naturally had to give him a chance.
“Alexander, since you refused the fact that Smith Co. has plagiarized, please show us your proof.” The main judge came forward to control the situation.
Yet, it was not that easy to prove the owner of the original design. Since Raffle and the others were dead set on framing Alexander, they had already asked Tiana to prepare her ‘working papers’, which were draft papers that showed her design process. With the working papers at hand, they could prove the authenticity of the original design.
The main problem now was that both designs had working papers, so no one could determine who had designed this piece beforehand.
At that moment, Danny, who was sitting below the stage and enjoying the show, could not stand it any longer. “Since you can’t tell who came up with the design first, let’s just have them design one on the spot. That way, you’ll be able to tell their skills right away. They’re all professional fashion designers, so it wouldn’t be a problem for them to draw something within ten to twenty minutes and come up with a completed design within an hour, right? Wouldn’t that make this competition even fairer?”
“Sir, please calm down. Though your idea works, a designer’s inspiration doesn’t just appear out of the blue, so I’m afraid that it might take the designers a long while to complete their design if they were asked to do so on the spot,” the main judge voiced his hardships.
“What’s there to be afraid of? We’re all here to support these designers. Furthermore, it’s a steal for us to see how the industry’s top designers create their designs!” Danny pretended to be an ordinary bystander and added fuel to the fire by hollering, “Everyone shout with me. Support originality. Support live designing!”
After he said that, a small portion of people began shouting along with him, “Support originality! Support live designing! We want full transparency for this competition!”
As a result, the organizing committee had a last-minute discussion and decided to allow the designers to compete by designing a piece on the spot in order to calm the crowd. However, the one deciding the theme was Princess Diana.
“Alright. With the theme of ‘The Bride of Your Dreams’, please create a design for a wedding dress. You may begin once you’re ready.” After announcing the theme, Princess Diana sat back in her seat and patiently waited to see a perfect wedding dress.
Meanwhile, on stage, Alexander and Tiana occupied a corner each. Placed before them was a design tablet that was linked to the big screen, streaming their every move for the crowd to see.
He picked up his pencil, looked at Elise and the children below the stage, and closed his eyes to calm down his breathing. A while later, he began to draw.
On the other hand, Tiana had not moved an inch. In order to prepare for today’s competition, she had spent a few restless nights copying the backup designs that Smith Co. had prepared so that it would not be a problem for her to redraw them on the spot.
Yet, she had to create a new wedding dress from scratch now. Besides the one Elise designed for Faye, the rest of her mind was entirely blank. A wedding dress—white, romantic, a vessel for blessings and love. It seemed like there were endless things that she could magnify, but in her opinion, it seemed like they were lacking something.
Seeing that Tiana had not started, Raffle came to her back and deliberately turned off the microphone before softly reminding her, “It’s been ten minutes. How much longer do you have to wait before starting?”
Hearing that, she shivered from the sudden shock. Before she could think any further, she began to draw according to her memory. Half an hour later, she actually managed to design a bold and innovative evening dress. Although it had nothing to do with a wedding dress, it was barely enough for her to muddle through.
Heaving a long breath, she felt her whole body relax. It was then Raffle saw an opportunity and quickly flattered her. “As expected from Amy. She finished her design before the one-hour mark! What an astonishing scene!”
While he spoke, Alexander had also finished his design. He calmly set down his pen and raised his head to look at the two drawings on the screen. Immediately, a scornful smile appeared on his face. As the smile was captured by one of the cameras and projected onto the big screen, the crew purposely enlarged it to make him seem supercilious.
“What does Alexander mean by that look? Who is he looking down on?”
“God, help me. He’s such a repulsive person. Not only did he finish later than Amy, he also dared to look down on her. Where did he even get his courage from? Courage the Cowardly Dog?”