Chapter 148: Underground fighting Zhong Wusheng
The debate on whether or not to dig for the Gaoling Mausoleum of Anyang was still ongoing. Xu Tingsheng actually didn’t really care much about this, because he knew that the truth would surely come to light one day. It would be in a few years at most that those villagers would discover abnormalities with their drains. At that time, all of it would simply naturally play out.
Currently having finished ‘throwing the firecracker and running’, Uncle instead became the one who was least concerned about the matter.
Amidst the cries to ‘dig!’, Xu Tingsheng’s sole thought was that he wouldn’t be continuing to play with such things any longer. There were indeed some other tomb locations that he knew of, even many that had to be protected or excavated before they were looted by grave robbers…
Yet, it seemed like he really shouldn’t do that anymore. Any more of this and he would land himself a ‘Digging God’ title or a ‘Point Where Dig Where Xu Tingsheng’ nickname. In that case, his life would really be running off on an unwanted trajectory.
The current situation was that he had already ‘entered the limelight’. This being so, he couldn’t have gone in for no reason. He would make use of this chance to immediately initiate Hucheng’s expansion, bringing Hucheng’s Nine Cities expansion plan into immediate implementation.
Thus, it was at the peak of such upheaval that Xu Tingsheng returned to Yanzhou University via bus along with his teammates. He got off prior to the entrance of Xishan Academy City and walked over to the riverside residence. There, he unexpectedly found everyone of Hucheng waiting for him downstairs.
Applause resounded upon his arrival.
Seven days ago, Hucheng had been teetering on the brink of collapse amidst a great storm. Xu Tingsheng had drawn the bow and left. Seven days later, Hucheng was out of its crisis having risen to new heights...and Xu Tingsheng who had been out hiding for so long was finally willing to return.
“Don't, don't,” An embarrassed Xu Tingsheng waved at them to stop.
As the applause gradually drew to a close, Lu Zhixin came over and briefly explained a few things:
“Zhang Xingke and Management Head Zhao are at each other’s necks. For that,we can just watch and see first.”
“We’ve already recruited quite a few technical and management personnel. The person you asked to make that idiom game has already sent the alpha version over. We've posted it, and also generally grasped the relevant data for the target cities...so, make good use of this chance. The Nine Cities plan can be initiated.”
“I've really suffered this time. Thus, you owe me again. That's two now. Don't forget that.”
Old Wai added, “Huang Keshen's moved out. We really didn't do anything at all, didn't even touch him. Still, he isn't having it good now. Everyone's looking at him in a strange way, and even that girl’s broken up with him…”
That was karma. Xu Tingsheng relaxedly listened to all of it before continuing, “Anything else? If there is, we should talk about it upstairs.”
And so he strode towards the staircase. Yet everyone else didn't move an inch.
“What's wrong?” Xu Tingsheng asked in puzzlement.
Lu Zhixin hesitated for a while before saying rather awkwardly, “Uh, about two hours ago, your Dad suddenly came, and he went to the second floor to take a look. I just happened to be there. Because of that, Uncle might think that I, might think that…”
Xu Tingsheng hadn't the time to listen to Lu Zhixin continuing to 'might think that’. He bolted up the stairs, got to the second floor and entered. Mr Xu was seated in the living room, and talking with him were Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Fang Yuqing.
“Dad, you're here?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Mr Xu tilted his head and looked at Xu Tingsheng for a moment before feigning surprise, “CEO Xu, Hucheng Education's CEO Xu! Does your Dad know that you've turned the whole world upside down like this?”
Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Fang Yuqing were secretly laughing over by the side. Xu Tingsheng chased them out, explaining the recent situation to Mr Xu in earnest. He also explained how Hucheng had come to be as well as its upcoming developmental plans.
“Such a huge scale?!” Mr Xu was amazed, “Where did your funds for this come from?”
“There's some income that Fu Cheng and I have been making over time from the ringtone business. Then, the money this time mainly came from a loan that a business partner helped to obtain,” Xu Tingsheng explained Fang Chen's position in Hucheng as well as the obtaining of the loan.
Mr Xu pondered for a long time before patting his son on the shoulder, “Tingsheng...Dad hasn't been able to help you, instead only having held you back.”
“Dad, don't be like this. Any more of this and I really will have to cry,” Xu Tingsheng wanted to smile, yet his expression gradually turned unnatural as he remembered that such words had also been spoken by Mr Xu in his previous life.
“Two months. Two more months and Dad can help you with at least 3 million,” Mr Xu smiled.
“The expansion of Happy Shoppers won't be stopping, right?” Xu Tingsheng asked seriously.
“It won't. Still, it's like I said before. There are so many counties in Jianhai, so many counties in the entire nation. It's not like we can open supermarkets in all of them, right? Thus, I lured over two management personnel of large scale supermarkets a while back. Happy Shoppers intends to start a franchise.”
Starting a franchise was something that Hucheng would definitely have to do sooner or later. While it could bring them benefits, it could also bring about many problems. This time, Happy Shoppers seemed to be moving a little prematurely again.
“Next question,” Mr Xu suddenly smiled meaningfully as he looked at his son.
“Uh oh, the food’s here! How about we eat first? We can drink some wine,” Xu Tingsheng exaggeratedly ventured.
Mr Xu ignored his diverting of the topic, asking directly, “Who's that Miss Lu?”
“Colleague, business partner.”
“She stays here?”
“I don't stay here.”
“Is that so,” Mr Xu thought about it, “Fine, I believe you. Let's go eat then.”
Xu Tingsheng hurriedly nodded, going outside and calling Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Fang Yuqing in. He thought for a moment before going downstairs to look for Zhong Wusheng and see if he was free to eat together with them.
Fang Yuqing pulled Xu Tingsheng to the side, whispering, “They’re arguing.”
“Bro Zhong and Sis Jia, arguing? That can’t be, right?”
From what Xu Tingsheng knew, Zhong Wusheng and Tao Jiaxiu were an exceptionally loving pair that surpassed even model couples. Zhong Wusheng doted on Tao Jiaxiu as a man would his wife, while Tao Jiaxiu cared about Zhong Wusheng like a big sister. Things between the two were usually so corny that the singleton, Xu Tingsheng, sometimes dared not even watch them.
They actually argued as well?
“I’ve definitely got to take a look then.”
Completely ignoring Fang Yuqing's attempt to block him, Xu Tingsheng headed downstairs. Having been busy recently, he was actually unfamiliar with how Zhong Wusheng and Tao Jiaxiu had recently been doing. The more this was so, the more he felt worried that they might have met with difficulties.
After standing outside the door for a while and hearing nothing, Xu Tingsheng carefully tried knocking. It was Tao Jiaxiu who opened the door. Sis Jia had clearly just cried as there were tearstains below her reddened eyes.
“Oh, it's Lil’ Xu. Come in,” Tao Jiaxiu said hoarsely.
“Thanks, Sis Jia,” Entering the room and seeing Zhong Wusheng sitting by a corner of the table with his back to him, Xu Tingsheng called out, “Bro Zhong, you haven't had dinner yet, right?”
Strangely enough, whilst knowing that Xu Tingsheng had come, Zhong Wusheng didn't even glance back at him as he simply grunted in the affirmative before adding, “Sit.”
Xu Tingsheng could only find a stool and sit down. Still, the atmosphere was awkward, the silence in the room overly stifling.
“Sis Jia, how has business been recently?” Xu Tingsheng fumbled to find a topic.
“I, I'm not running it anymore. The two stalls were both sold away by him,” Tao Jiaxiu said in a bit of a plaintive tone.
Taken aback, Xu Tingsheng asked Zhong Wusheng who was still facing away from him, “Bro Zhong, what's all this? Wasn't Sis Jia's store doing rather well?”
Zhong Wusheng was silent for a while before he said gruffly, “Your Sis is pregnant. I'm afraid that it might be bad for her body if she runs the store every day.”
Firstly, this was a piece of good news, and Xu Tingsheng was very happy for them. At the same time, he also understood where the problem lay. Already being thirty-six years old, Tao Jiaxiu was definitely at a higher risk as a pregnant woman...be it out of his concern towards her and their child or his pride as a man, Zhong Wusheng could not allow her to continue running her stall and tiring herself out every day.
However, this would inevitably lead to the problem of financial hardship for the both of them. Even if they could tide things through for the time being, they still had to make preparations for their future child.
“Congratulations, Bro Zhong, Sis Jia,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “What's Bro Zhong working as now then?”
Zhong Wusheng didn't answer, while Tao Jiaxiu fumed for a while before angrily replying, “Ask him to turn around and show you. See if he dares.”
So the problem lay with Zhong Wusheng. Xu Tingsheng thought that it was no wonder that he had been facing away from him. Xu Tingsheng stood up and walked over to face Zhong Wusheng. Zhong Wusheng hastily lowered his head, wanting to evade his gaze, but Xu Tingsheng had already seen his face that was riddled with wounds. There was a bandage on his nose while the corners of his eyes and his mouth had already split apart. Many large blue-blackish patches also adorned his face.
“This...Bro Zhong, what happened to you?” Afraid that some accident had befallen Zhong Wusheng, Xu Tingsheng asked panickedly.
Zhong Wusheng did not answer. Xu Tingsheng turned to look at Tao Jiaxiu. Tears had begun trickling uncontrollably down her face once more.
Shaking her head, she sniffled, “He, in that bar, in an iron cage...underground fighting. It was one versus one at first, and they gave him four hundred yuan for each round. After seeing that he’s strong, they proposed fighting three or five versus one, giving him eight hundred, one thousand per round. He fought them all...those people have also trained before. And so he, he ended up like this.”
“He's already like this, but he still wants to go. I can't persuade him not to. Lil’ Xu, help Sis to persuade him. I'm scared that…”
Tao Jiaxiu began weeping even more intensely, with even her breathing coming in ragged sobs. Xu Tingsheng brought his hand down in a sweeping motion, signalling for her to calm down.
That Zhong Wusheng was participating in underground fighting indeed rather exceeded Xu Tingsheng's expectations. Reality was not like in the movies. There shouldn't be one of those underground betting arenas in Yanzhou where money was waved about as easily as feathers. However, Xu Tingsheng had indeed heard of battling in iron cages in bars in his previous life before. In the year 2015, a bar in Chongqing had been reported on by the media due to such a phenomenon. Also, it seemed not to have been criticised as an illegal practice.
Xu Tingsheng had just been pondering on how to speak to Zhong Wusheng about it when he himself first spoke, saying in a rather desolate tone, “Bro, you don't understand. I'm not like you guys. You are cultured, have brains, but I don't...I'm uncultured, and also don't have any other abilities...I want to earn more money, want your Sis and our child to be able to live a little better. I really couldn't find a better way.”
Xu Tingsheng could empathise with Zhong Wusheng’s actions. This man of iron was fighting for the one he loved in the most 'iron-blooded’ way, giving everything he had in order to bear his responsibility as a man. That was indeed worthy of respect.
However, understanding did not entail agreement and approval.
“Therefore, you don't know that pregnant women cannot worry, cannot cry, cannot argue and cannot be emotional...right? If you come back with this sort of face every day, what do you want Sis Jia to do? And the child as well, aren't you worried about the child in Sis Jia’s belly?” Xu Tingsheng asked in mock indignation.
“I…” Zhong Wusheng began panicking, but was unable to speak for a long time as Xu Tingsheng's words had clearly left him feeling afraid.
Xu Tingsheng shot Sis Jia a look, mouthing toward her, “Leave it to me.”
Then, he turned towards Zhong Wusheng and said in a friendlier tone, “Bro Zhong, my Dad's come over today. We'd like you to eat with us. Let’s talk as we eat, okay?”
Zhong Wusheng hesitated for a moment before nodding, “Okay.”
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