Chapter 379: So long as you want it, as long as I have it
On seeing Mrs Xiang’s number indicated on his phone screen, Xu Tingsheng was overwhelmed completely by nervousness.
He shooed away those of the Black Horse Club before carefully answering the call, only to find that it was actually Little Xiang Ning calling.
Little Xiang Ning narrated the entire process of how she had talked with and stood up to her parents, including how they had ultimately expressed that they had to discuss this for a bit.
Xu Tingsheng had no way of digesting this information all at once. In such a short span of time, so many things had been fully exposed. He was currently in a state similar to that of awaiting a final verdict as the jury came to a decision on the matter.
Still, fortunately, Xu Tingsheng was able to tell from Xiang Ning’s words that Mr and Mrs Xiang were actually in the midst of calming down from their previous fervent, antagonistic resistance. The conclusion which they ultimately arrived at might not be that terrible at the end of the day.
Little Xiang Ning’s bravery was very laudable indeed, having played a significant role therein.
“But I’ve already finished preparing the flats on my end, several hundreds of them. How can they suddenly just change their minds like this and refuse to sell? What am I supposed to do now?” Xu Tingsheng joked.
Able to tell that he was joking, Little Xiang Ning laughed, saying with her voice that was a bit hoarse from crying, “So I was actually this valuable.”
“That’s an understatement,” Xu Tingsheng said.
It was a candidate for world’s greatest understatement indeed. Of course he would really be willing to do so. Let alone a hundred flats or Ning Garden, he would be willing to offer up even more, in fact. This might appear rather juvenile and foolish, as they were unlike the actions of a ‘successful’ man, an antihero or even a hero. Still, Xu Tingsheng had never been one of these in the first place.
While money still had to be obtained in this second chance at life, without being too capable or competent, not possessing powerful methods, he was already able to possess immense wealth with just his foreknowledge alone. Yet, in actual fact, people were more important than money in Xu Tingsheng’s worldview, much more important in fact.
This was already so for other, normal people, much less Xiang Ning.
Hearing Xu Tingsheng say that it was an understatement, Little Xiang Ning laughed proudly, asking happily, “How much am I worth then?”
Even though she was laughing, as he listened to her voice that was hoarse from crying, Xu Tingsheng’s heart could not help but ache as he said tenderly, “There’s no way of calculating just how much you’re worth...anyway, so long as you want it, as long as I have it. All that I can give to you, I will.”
Some soft laughter resounded from the other end of the phone before Little Xiang Ning said shyly, “Hey, Xu Tingsheng, why’re you suddenly saying so mushy stuff?”
“Is it mushy?”
“Yeah,” Little Xiang Ning said, “Well, so, are we going to enter a relationship now? Will you be very good to me in the future?”
“The answer to this is very long,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “I’m prepared to spend my entire lifetime answering it to you. Are you prepared to listen to my answer? Are you willing?”
“Yep,” Little Xiang Ning answered in the affirmative before chuckling aloud, no longer thinking of chastising Uncle for having become more and more mushy now.
Still, after laughing, she thought of another problem, which had actually cast quite a big shadow over her heart. She had been exerting quite a bit of effort over this, just that it had always never seemed much effective before.
“Um, so…” Little Xiang Ning stammered for a bit before she got over her hesitation and asked, “Well, if that one place never grows and there’ll never ever be anything to look at, will you look down on me in the future?”
“What place?” Xu Tingsheng did not get this right away, having merely meant it at a joke at the time after all.
“There, those two...there,” Little Xiang Ning said nervously, “Where you said Mulan has no elder brother.”
Finally realising what she was referring to, Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Oh, there! It’s fine. I think that they’re already pretty good the way they are.”
“You even said that you wouldn’t look for me even if you wanted to act ruffian-ish,” Little Xiang Ning pressed unrelentingly.
“Is it that you just can't wait for me to act ruffian-ish towards you?”
“Hey, you, you...you wish! Dirty ruffian,” Little Xiang Ning said, “I just really feel like hugging you now.”
“Me too,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Well then, do you want to touch my waist? ...You can extend your hand in…”
The two chatted for a long time till a knock on the door resounded on the other end of the phone.
Mrs Xiang had come to look for Xiang Ning.
In their earlier discussion, husband and wife had concluded that there was no way to impede this relationship. Also, because of various things which had happened, it also seemed that it would be inappropriate to continue taking such a hardline stance against this.
Since letting Xiang Ning interact with Xu Tingsheng was an unavoidable thing, it seemed that they should find a suitable state between the two for them to at least get through this three year buffer period first. This seemed to be the most important problem at hand.
This had to be clarified specifically to Xiang Ning, and of course Xu Tingsheng too.
Not long after the call was disconnected, Xu Tingsheng received a text from Mr Xiang, “Tingsheng, let's have a meal together tomorrow, just the three of us.”
Little Xiang Ning would definitely not have been included in this 'three of us’ as it could only be Mr and Mrs Xiang as well as Xu Tingsheng then...from the looks of it, the verdict was about to be dealt. They might first ask him a couple of questions before saying a few things.
“Alright,” Xu Tingsheng sent a reply.
Even as Mr Xiang was texting Xu Tingsheng, Mrs Xiang was also telling Little Xiang Ning some things that only a mother could convey. Still, in truth, even a mother would feel somewhat awkward in saying such things to their daughter who was merely a sixteen-year-old.
Little Xiang Ning's face was flushed beetroot red as she listened on. Some things which she herself had not thought about before rose to the surface now as her mother spoke of them.
“I’ll be obedient and listen to you. And he wouldn't do this too!”
Little Xiang Ning actually very much wanted to tell her mother that he was actually very timid. She had kissed him three times already, but he had never even kissed her back once. Oh, though she did not know if his hand that was on her waist sliding downwards could be considered as something on his part…
Forget it. Anyway, one doesn't get pregnant just from a little touching.
Due to nervousness and excitement and just that little bit of awkwardness, Xu Tingsheng feared that he might not be able to sleep that night, that his tossing and turning about in bed might affect his roommates if he returned to the summer dormitory to sleep.
“It looks like I've got to get myself a flat first. Better still if it's closer to the first-tier senior high.
Xu Tingsheng considered this for a time. Still, this wasn't something that could be settled right away at the end of the day. He would simply have to find and make do with a hostel for the night.
The location for their meal the next day was decided by Mr and Mrs Xiang as it was not at their home. Some things just should not be said in front of Xiang Ning, after all.
Xu Tingsheng arrived at the place rather early. This was an old local restaurant which seemed to have a rather long history to it. The four-storied, old- fashioned building was rather run-down, and there weren't really many people there now as it was in the afternoon.
After approximately half an hour, Mr and Mrs Xiang arrived too.
The three all felt rather awkward as they sat in a private room on the third storey of the restaurant. Before the dishes had all been served, none of them felt able enough to start out on the main topic as they simply exchanged greetings and some random, meaningless bits of conversation.
“How about we start eating first?” Mr Xiang asked.
Xu Tingsheng nodded.
Right after the trio had picked up their chopsticks, the door was pushed open.
“Aha, I managed to find you!” A smiling Little Xiang Ning held the doorknob and peered into their room, next shamelessly feigning an innocent look of having been invited in the first place as she gracefully walked into the room and sat down.
Mr and Mrs Xiang were rendered speechless.
Little Xiang Ning glanced over at Xu Tingsheng, blinking as if to say, “I was worried that they might bully you, so I've come to protect you.”
At this time, Xu Tingsheng who was in the position of weakest authority would definitely not dare give her any support.
Mrs Xiang put on a stern face, saying, “Go home first, Little Ning. Mum and Dad...have stuff to talk to Tingsheng about.”
“But I'm very hungry…” Little Xiang Ning's shamelessness came into play here as not having any bowl and utensils herself, she picked up Xu Tingsheng's chopsticks and began eating the dishes on the table first.
“Go back, I said! Why are you so disobedient?”
Mr and Mrs Xiang were already making a very big concession in the first place as they felt very awkward too. If even Little Xiang Ning were to be present for this, they would feel greatly discomfited as it would feel as if they were handing their daughter over to Xu Tingsheng in person...even if they did really do so eventually, now was still far from it.
Mrs Xiang got mad.
Little Xiang Ning looked at her Dad who also said, “You should go back first.”
Little Xiang Ning looked at Xu Tingsheng who could, of course, only concede, “You should really go back first.”
“Fine!” Little Xiang Ning hatefully stuffed a final chunk of food in her mouth before throwing down the chopsticks on the table and pushing the door open, storming away.
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