Chapter 228: Waiting for Apple to knock on the door
With feelings that he couldn’t really identify, Xu Tingsheng followed Li Wan’er in his car from far away, only driving back to his hotel after he had seen her park her van in a hospital parking lot.
Regarding Li Wan’er, Xu Tingsheng currently hoped that she would be able to heed his advice, thinking of a way to leave as soon as possible after the completion of her mother’s surgery and looking for a peaceful, blissful life of her own.
This society was not so suitable for her.
She was even less suited to the business arena where the strong preyed on the weak.
Rounding a bend onto a straight road, Xu Tingsheng saw a familiar silhouette through his rearview mirror.
His attention having been on Li Wan’er earlier, he had failed to notice it. Now, just having driven off for a bit, he discovered that his Mercedes-Benz G500 had been sneakily tailing him all along.
Xu Tingsheng found a spot and pulled up, getting off the car and lighting a cigarette as he watched the conflicted G500 in the distance that knew not whether it should still advance.
Seeing this, Huang Yaming and Tan Yao knew that Xu Tingsheng had finally discovered them. They could only pull up along the roadside as well. Getting off the car, they smilingly went over and began smoking along with him.
“How long have you been following me?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao exchanged looks, probably hoping to push it to the other.
Finally, it was Tan Yao who bit the bullet and said, “We saw you two after driving back to the hotel just now...you just happened to be at the carpark. So, we followed you for a bit.”
Xu Tingsheng hadn’t expected that they had actually been following him for so long. Thinking back on what had happened earlier, he could not help but feel a little awkward.
Huang Yaming accurately caught this chance as he smiled, “Anyway, we just saw it. Then, we thought that this world is really too scary. And the relationship between people, even between bros...it’s just too complex.”
Then, he pretentiously said to Tan Yao, “Chance! Tingsheng, hurry up and give me her number.”
Tan Yao replied just as exaggeratedly, “Scram! Don’t you go thinking that! She doesn’t have such intentions; you’d only be going to hurt her if you set your designs on her.”
Then, it was his turn to ask Huang Yaming, “Bro Xu, what about in the future, if you’ve become qualified enough?”
Huang Yaming feigned a profound look, “Many beautiful women exist beneath these heavens, and many good women as well. Yet in this life, I dare not accrue any more debts to women.”
This was the conversation between the trio after having encountered Li Wan’er outside the workshop of the old Italian tailor that day. Xu Tingsheng had said it himself, but in the end?
As Tan Yao and Huang Yaming saw it, it was obvious what had happened. In just these two day’s time, Xu Tingsheng had already successfully completed the deed behind their backs.
“It actually isn’t how you think it is,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“I know. It was just the two of you coming out of the hotel together, after which you sent her off, reluctant to part, adjusting your clothes, kissing, crying...it’s just all this, it’s all perfectly normal. How else do you say we can think about it?!” Huang Yaming eloquently expressed.
“Right! We really didn’t think anything. All that’s left was respect. Bro Xu, you’re really peerless! There’s really no way I could admire you more. And to think we even thought of ourselves as beasts before! Only now do I know what is called indiscernible on the surface,” Tan Yao added.
This was equivalent to saying that Xu Tingsheng was the real beast.
Xu Tingsheng forced a smile. He thoroughly explained the crux of the matter that could be talked about, also revealing what had happened in the end. They were even now.
Finally, he said, “You saw how she went to the hospital in the end, right? It really was just that.”
Huang Yaming asked Tan Yao, “Can you believe that?”
Tan Yao thought for a moment before saying, “I can believe it a little.”
Huang Yaming said, “Then I believe it a little too.”
Xu Tingsheng couldn’t bother explaining any longer as he simply shook his head, “It’s up to you whether you believe me or not.”
Huang Yaming said, “Actually, whether we believe it isn’t really important. More importantly, you don’t know that Apple will believe you.”
Xu Tingsheng asked, “What do you mean? There’s no need for you to tell Apple this, right?”
Huang Yaming said imperiously, “It depends on your performance.”
Xu Tingsheng asked quizzically, “What exactly do you mean?”
Huang Yaming’s expression immediately changed from a haughty to a fawning one as he smiled, “This bro handled something wrongly, so I can only use this matter to threaten you. Guarantee that you won’t look for trouble with me, and then I won’t tell this matter to Apple.”
Xu Tingsheng thought about it and asked, “You got my car scratched?”
Huang Yaming said, “What does a scratch matter? I’ve never felt burdened wasting your money before. What I’m talking about is more serious than that.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Say it then.”
Huang Yaming opened his mouth, but said nothing.
“Say it!” Xu Tingsheng urged him.
“Apple’s almost arrived at Shenghai.”
Huang Yaming spoke at a rapid pace and kept from looking at Xu Tingsheng after having finished. It was evident that he was pretty concerned about this matter, also feeling pretty apologetic regarding it. Thus, he was definitely responsible for this in some way or other.
Hearing his words, Xu Tingsheng was slightly stunned as he asked, “How did that happen?”
“It’s because of that letter,” Huang Yaming said, “Apple’s got the letter, and the sender is me. She probably didn’t know how to broach the topic with you, thought for a few days and finally decided to call and ask me.”
Looking at Xu Tingsheng, seeing that he wasn’t about to erupt into a fit of rage, Huang Yaming continued, “So she asked me about it, and of course all I could do was admit it. I really wasn’t intending to drag you into it, but aren’t I insufficient? If not through you, it’s impossible that I would have been able to arrange for all that. Because of that, finally…”
Xu Tingsheng felt somewhat despondent. Things having developed to this extent, there already seemed to be no way out apart from him being candid with her. He did not wish for this to end up forcing Apple into making a decision, becoming goodwill that she felt obliged to accept.
He had merely wished to pave this path for her first, at least first ensuring that Apple would no longer be restricted by Tianle’s contract before waiting for her to make a decision on her own.
Xu Tingsheng was perfectly aware of the fact that with Apple’s personality, there was really no way that she would end up just cooking and doing laundry for him for the rest of her life. Meanwhile, she was indeed unsuited for working in Hucheng as well.
Feeling rather panicked, Xu Tingsheng asked Huang Yaming, “How much does Apple know now then? Does she know about our relationship with Tianyi and what we’re doing?”
“She still doesn’t know, at least for now. I told her to ask you herself. Anyway, that’s just how it is. Think about how to handle it yourself; I’m washing my hands off this. If you dare to look for trouble with me, I’ll dare to tell Apple what happened with Li Wan’er.”
Huang Yaming revealed the look of a dead man not having anything to lose.
Xu Tingsheng asked again, “That’s why she came to Shenghai?”
“No, I meant for her to wait for you to return before asking you. In the end, as soon as we finished talking, she said that she just happened to already be at the station, and would immediately take a bus to Shenghai. Then, she asked for your hotel and room number.”
After saying this, Huang Yaming told him in a secretive tone, “It seems that your two women at home got into a fight. Then, Apple left home. I don’t know about the specifics; find out yourself.”
Tan Yao had already accosted two girls on the side even as they conversed as he was now calling for Huang Yaming to give them a ride back in their car.
Xu Tingsheng asked them to hurry up and scram after which he dialled Old Wai’s number.
“Zhixin and Apple got into a fight?” Xu Tingsheng cut to the chase.
Old Wai thought for a moment, “Yes, and no.”
“What do you mean?”
“Zhixin did scold someone, even scolded that person very fiercely, but she actually wasn’t aware that the one she was scolding was Apple. Apple knows that Lu Zhixin wasn’t actually aware that she was scolding her, but she still feels very wronged.”
Xu Tingsheng was entirely bemused as he muttered, “What exactly is it that’s so complicated?”
Old Wai said, “An incident happened with the checks on the platform here at Yanzhou. A jobless employee claimed that he was once a primary school teacher and registered using a certificate for teaching that’s no longer valid. He then managed to swindle his way through the checks.”
“Then, very coincidentally, the parent of the child who hired him is a policeman. He casually checked and discovered that...this person actually has a record. It’s true that he taught in a primary school in the past, but he...did that sort of things to the students before, and not just once. His teaching qualifications were long since revoked, and he’s even been in prison for a few years. He didn’t have anything to do after coming out, so he wanted to be a home tutor…”
This matter was serious to the point that Xu Tingsheng was even sweating a little as he hurriedly interrupted Old Wai, asking, “How’s the situation now then?”
Old Wai said, “The parent was very angry, but he didn’t blow the matter up. He just contacted us and expressed his indignation. He was really rather furious. Zhixin took the call herself, and had to lower her head and bear more than an hour straight of scolding.”
“Then, Zhixin flared up in the morning because no one would admit it. She said that after she had gotten to the bottom of it, even if it was Linlin who had done the checks, she would still be firing her. She’s already bringing the person over to the house to apologise to the parents now. She even said that it’s lucky that they managed to get wind of this. Things could have ended up much worse otherwise.”
Xu Tingsheng shook his head which felt a little heavy, asking, “So, Apple was the one who did the checks?”
Old Wai said, “Right. She told Linlin about it before running off to hide in her room. She didn’t do it on purpose, and maybe because she was afraid of embarrassing you in front of everyone, she didn’t admit it straight away. Anyway, she was just crying and crying. She didn’t even eat lunch. I plan to ask Linlin to go take a look at her later.”
“No need,” Xu Tingsheng said, “She’s already on her way to Shenghai. Leave things over here to me. You guys help Zhixin out more if you can. I’ll be calling her in a while.”
After hanging up, Xu Tingsheng drove straight back to the hotel before returning to his room and lying on his bed as he waited for Apple to knock on the door.
Xu Tingsheng did not intend to go pick Apple up. It was not that he was angry with her. Instead, his thoughts were rather disordered right now. He needed to sort them out a little.
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