Chapter 329: The popular Mr Xu
But so what? Like Xu Tingsheng had said, the money was from the Xu family. Was it that the Xu family had not the authority to even decide who the money was managed by?
Also, there was the Xu family’s power to consider.
In terms of wealth, the Xu father and son’s combined assets had already long since surpassed the concept of Libei’s richest.
In terms of power and background, who had forgotten how the Huang family who had ruled Libei for decades had fallen? Who had not heard of those rumoured calls from the provincial congress? Who could forget those all-encompassing fireworks which had illuminated half the sky of Libei during New Year’s Eve last year?
There had been no fireworks this year.
In Libei, besides many generous sponsorships and participating in the building of bridges and the paving of paths, the Xu family had kept a very low profile this year, never having flaunted their power or flashed their fists at anyone…
Still, as others saw it, this was only because the Xu family already no longer needed to do so.
No one was foolish enough to believe that they could really tug at the whiskers of the tiger that was the Xu family.
No one spoke.
“Pressuring others with power...you indeed feel much heartier than if you win others over with reason or virtue...the main thing is that I really can’t show that I’m on the side of reason now!”
While Xu Tingsheng had a calm expression on his face, he was actually inwardly smiling helplessly to himself.
“If Old Jin were here right now, he’d definitely say, Dang! You own them, kid! Hey, now that I think about it, how tyrannical will Little Jinshan, that little bastard, be in the future?”
No one knew what Xu Tingsheng was thinking.
Since they already had no way of communicating with Xu Tingsheng, everyone in the meeting room successively directed their gazes at Mr Xu who had been a silent spectator by the side.
Mr Xu drank a mouthful of tea, saying, “Let’s do as Tingsheng says then. We’ll handle the opening ceremony first. The person in charge of managing it can be decided later on.”
He said so mildly before standing up as he was the first to exit the room.
No one knows a son’s heart better than his father. As Mr Xu understood Xu Tingsheng’s character, even though there was no way for him to inquire about the specific reason now, he still believed that Xu Tingsheng would not have done this without a good reason.
A stunned silence ensued.
This was how everyone else reacted.
Like them, Hu Xianyang dared not utter a voice of complaint.
The ceremony had yet to begin. The students were still in the midst of streaming into the venue.
As Xu Tingsheng was standing outside alone and smoking a cigarette, Vice-Principal Lou walked over, putting a hand on his shoulder as he enquired in a low tone, “Tingsheng, what exactly is this about? Tell me about it, be honest.”
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment before replying, “It’s nothing much, actually. It’s just that when I was still a student, I heard some things to do with Chairman Hu. They weren’t speaking too well of him. I’m afraid that if I were to hand this sum of money and authority to him...it might not be that appropriate?”
Unexpectedly, Vice-Principal Lou did not speak as he furrowed his brows, seemingly in deep thought.
Xu Tingsheng observed his expression for a time, “Could it be that you heard some stuff too, Uncle Lou?”
“I can’t really say anything when there’s no proof. Also, Chairman Hu’s usual performance is indeed not bad. He knows what to do and what not to do...the higher-ups all rather like him,” Vice-Principal Lou said.
“Then...investigate him in private first?” Xu Tingsheng ventured, not knowing if Vice-Principal Lou would be willing to do something like this which was risky yet would not benefit him at all.
Vice-Principal Lou did not disappoint him as he nodded in agreement.
Xu Tingsheng thought about it for a moment before reminding him, “It’s fine if you investigate him secretly by yourself, but you definitely shouldn’t try to probe him or set up some kind of scheme for him...to be honest, I don’t think that you are his match in scheming, Uncle Lou.”
After saying so, he hurriedly added, “No offence, Uncle Lou!”
Vice-Principal Lou grinned, saying, “Do I need you to tell me that? Do you know what the most important thing is in someone like me actually being able to rise up the ranks? It’s because I’m well aware of the fact that I can’t scheme and plot. In that case, I might as well act out a foolish person to the max.”
“In the end, guess what? It ends up that things usually go in such a way. Everyone else goes around conniving and scheming like there’s no tomorrow, neither giving in to the other. In the end, both sides end up in a stalemate. The higher-ups see that I am the most harmless...and the benefits end up falling to me just like that.”
“Uncle Lou has great wisdom,” Xu Tingsheng said flatteringly as he felt at ease now.
As compared to the people who schemed and plotted every step of the way, it was those who had sufficient self-awareness and knew to go with the flow who really possessed great wisdom. Also, while Uncle Lou had put it this way, wouldn’t he need the ability to seize opportunities too?
Those with great wisdom only appear foolish.
There were no corporate embellishments on the name of their education bursary at all as it was named ‘Xingbei’-flourishing Libei.
A few thousand students were at the venue. The handsome Mr Xu sat at the centre of the stage in formal attire. At forty-seven years old, he seemed to have only just turned forty. This was the orthodox handsome uncle look.
Xu Tingsheng moved a chair and sat at the very back, close to the door. Looking at Mr Xu, he saw that at some point in time, something called bearing had already appeared on his father along with a sort of aura which had developed naturally over time.
The Vice-Principal presiding over the ceremony spoke the opening lines. Next to speak were the Vice County Head, the Chief of the Education Bureau, the Principal...the traditional manner of meetings for the Chinese never changed. As long as one was a figure of authority, if they did not speak, it was as if they feared that their eminent positions would not be understood by all.
Fortunately, they were all well aware that they were not the leading actors in today’s event. Thus, all of them tried their best to make their words of officialdom and pleasantries succinct and effective, making sure not to steal Mr Xu’s limelight.
They had not thought that Mr Xu’s words would be even more succinct and effective than theirs.
The first sentence. “My son, Xu Tingsheng graduated from Libei Senior High. My daughter is currently still studying at Libei Senior High. Therefore, this is not bestowment. It is gratitude.”
The second sentence. “Libei is poor. We are viewed as the poorest in Jianhai Province, at least. That we have not lost our will to strive despite our poverty is great. Still, we cannot remain poor like this forever. My son, Xu Tingsheng, once said this to me: University entrance examinations are our society’s final fairness. It’s the greatest, best chance for poor kids to change their fates, rising above their statuses, throughout their entire lives.”
“I find that this is very true. When you’ve entered society, you will find that there are so many unfair things out there. Thus, I hope that you can grasp this opportunity of fairness and work hard. The most important thing is for you to change your own fates, such that you and your parents who worked so hard to painstakingly raise you can lead better lives. Then, perhaps even Libei itself can be changed one day.”
The third sentence. “The Xu family has money. It can’t be considered a lot, but it isn’t little too. Therefore, as long as you truly strive hard and excel in both character and studies, especially with a strong mindset and morals, you don’t have to worry about problems your family might face. Leave it to me. The Xu family and our ‘Xingbei Education Bursary’ will support you all the way through senior high, through university...if five hundred thousand isn’t enough, I’ll take out another five hundred thousand, a million. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about anything at all. Just go forth and strive for better.”
The fourth sentence. Mr Xu smiled, saying, “Right, I hear that you like asking around for stories on how our Xu family began our development. It actually all began when my son Xu Tingsheng got into university. Also, in the upcoming university entrance examinations, all who rank in front of my daughter will be rewarded heavily. I hope that it is the more the merrier.”
With these four sentences, Mr Xu let everyone know that spirit, generosity, practicality and togetherness could actually be combined so perfectly. While he had not said anything lofty, every single sentence had struck home.
The various higher-ups up on stage exchanged looks, nodding, “The Xu family’s rise to power was not baseless. Also, this sense of responsibility and character...it is hard to come by indeed.”
Thunderous applause resounded from the audience. There was laughter and tears that welled up in the eyes of some as the applause reigned for a long time.
Most of the children in this era were still very simple and rustic.
Xu Tingsheng clapped too, smiling as he thought, “I must say, Dad really is a crowd favourite!”
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