Chapter 447: The king’s departing figure
“I still remember that the first registered home tutor on Hucheng was a friend of Linlin’s who also had to work to support her own studies…”
“I remember how one day, I woke up to find that there were finally two registered home tutors on the platform…”
“I also remember the first day our platform achieved our first home tutor application. Linlin called me at once, she was so excited...even though in reality, we had still yet to earn a single cent back then…”
“Hucheng’s first official meeting. The three of us ate hotpot together. It was cooked by me.”
Here, Xu Tingsheng put down the microphone and rolled up his sleeves a little, as if he was really going to spontaneously start cooking just like that even as he wore such a high-end suit…
Low laughter resounded amongst the audience.
Xu Tingsheng remained at the boundary of the stage, his legs dangling in mid-air. He casually tugged at his tie and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. His tie became rather crooked and slightly sunken…
He looked much more casual this way as it also seemed to hit upon everyone how in truth, he was really still just a third year university student.
The 22-year-old Xu Tingsheng already had so many things that he could reminisce on. Having always been a feeling kind of person, he actually often thought back on those days.
“It snowed the day we were distributing flyers. Afterwards, we built a whole line of snowmen in the city square…A friend of mine rushed over from out of town to help us. She stood amidst the ever-descending snow, picking up the flyers that others had thrown on the snowy ground, wiping them clean with her sleeves and distributing them again with a bright smile on her face…”
If those present knew that this friend Xu Tingsheng spoke of was Apple, Cen Xiyu, a great uproar would probably ensue, with the reporters positively moved to death. Still, those in the know were ultimately a small minority.
And this small minority comprised of people who were not in the mood for gossip and hoo-hahs now.
Old Wai and Li Linlin gazed upwards at Xu Tingsheng with smiles on their faces. They knew that many would be observing their reactions at the present moment.
Of the thousand plus people present, most had never experienced Hucheng’s initial phase. As Xu Tingsheng also seldom spoke publicly, this was truly their first time hearing of these stories.
Yet, while the two were clearly smiling, their eyes were already completely red with a faint wet mist visible about them. Whether it when they had worked together amidst adversities during Hucheng’s earliest days or when they had later been forced out of Hucheng’s management, never had they felt as they were feeling now...
They trusted Xu Tingsheng, having resolved themselves to follow him to the end. They had considered the possibility that they might cease to be useful to him one day. Still, that was inconsequential. Even then, they could work hard, starting from the very lowest echelons…
Yet, they had never considered that such a day might come in which the one departing was none other than Xu Tingsheng himself.
If not for Li Linlin having called Xu Tingsheng in time, Old Wai would already have gone and thrashed Lu Zhixin’s office a couple of days ago…
“How many of you here have been to the riverside residence?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
A smattering of people raised their hands, most of Hucheng’s middle and higher echelons as well as a small minority of the employees.
Xu Tingsheng nodded and indicated for them to put down their hands before saying, “That old, dilapidated flat was later bought by us. Still, we chose to reinforce its foundations rather than rebuild it entirely...it still seems old today. I hope that it can always remain in such a manner, because it represents Hucheng’s past…”
Many amongst the audience nodded, even though most of them had leapt up in fright on seeing that building of seemingly questionable structural integrity for the first time.
“How much is Hucheng worth now?” Xu Tingsheng inquired.
The sums yelled out were getting higher and higher.
In truth, Hucheng’s current market valuation was around 1 billion. Still, most within Hucheng disagreed with it. They were clearest on the potential their company had. They knew that as soon as Hucheng got completely into stride, this figure would skyrocket at a frightening pace.
Also, all of the above had actually happened within the span of a mere two over years.
“At the start of 2004, because I met with some difficulties, someone used 2 million and purchased...15% of Hucheng’s shares,” Xu Tingsheng said, putting a hand on his head.
A slight uproar ensued along with much discussion in hushed voices.
This was because, really, truly...they just felt so much envy, jealousy and self-loathing. 2 million from 2 years ago equated to near 200 million in profit in the present day. Whether it was really due to their sharp insight or it had only been dumb luck, people would still grit their teeth and clench their toes in amazement.
Fang Chen and Fang Yuqing were present too. The former was looking triumphantly at him.
Not pointing Fang Chen out, Xu Tingsheng continued, “Actually, this investor herself was basically not important at all. After taking the 2 million, all she did was lay about, loafing…”
Fang Chen clenched her teeth and glared at Xu Tingsheng, secretly pointing the middle finger.
Xu Tingsheng pretended not to have seen it as he continued with an earnest expression on his face, “Still, she also brought someone to Hucheng. Up till today, I still believe that this person’s appearance was the weightiest, most significant event in Hucheng’s overall development. This person is called Lu Zhixin.”
Applause and exclamations resounded as everyone’s gazes congregated on Lu Zhixin.
The process of Lu Zhixin entering Hucheng was indeed related to Fang Chen. It was just that Xu Tingsheng had omitted an earlier portion. These words of his actually dispelled the doubts many people had: Were there any ongoing conflicts or tension between Xu Tingsheng and Lu Zhixin, exactly?
Lu Zhixin smiled, but quickly resumed her previous expression with its calm, silent composure.
She knew why Xu Tingsheng was saying this, knew what he was trying to do. With such a thing having suddenly occurred in Hucheng, she was actually the subject of much suspicion both within and without...Xu Tingsheng was trying to dispel that crisis, stabilising her situation.
The more that he did so, the more she was hurting inside.
“I believe that I do not need to speak much on Boss Lu’s contributions towards Hucheng. For instance, the first major challenge Hucheng faced came from a bastard named Zhang Xingke. You’ve surely heard about this before?” Xu Tingsheng smiled and asked.
Everyone nodded. The wars that Hucheng had experienced were often proudly brought up by their old employees. Therefore, most people would surely have heard about it. Some of them even knew of how Zhang Xingke had later come to ‘steal’ people from Hucheng’s campus in Shenghai on site.
Therefore, for everyone of Hucheng, this guy, Zhang Xingke, was definitely that most hated, detestable, teeth-gnashing-worthy enemy.
“I wasn’t there at the time. It was Boss Lu who oversaw the overall situation,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Actually, Xu Tingsheng had only left after making all the arrangements. Still, in pushing that credit all onto Lu Zhixin now, he naturally had the same motive in mind.
Lu Zhixin already dared not look at Xu Tingsheng by now.
“Then, there also came Xueyou Education and Youxin Tongcheng...Hucheng faced multiple difficulties, but we tided through them all,” Xu Tingsheng paused momentarily before saying gravely, “Thank you, Zhixin. Thank you, Old Wai. Thank you, Linlin. Thank you, Fang Chen. Thank you, Principal Tang...thank you, everyone.”
He stood up.
“Alright, enough of an old fella’s rambling,” He said.
Everyone’s gazes were on him. Everybody was silent.
“I really like Hucheng,” Xu Tingsheng paused momentarily before raising the microphone and emphasising slowly, “I hope that all of you can like it too.”
Today, he had been speaking in a light-hearted manner prior to this, up till this simple sentence. Finally, everyone saw the tears that had welled up in his eyes. This company had been single-handedly established by him, was where he had embarked on his dreams…
He was bidding this place farewell today.
Some began shedding tears as well, such as Old Wai, Li Linlin, even Fang Chen...Hucheng’s old guard...the more sensitive girls...many people…
More began to clap as the applause did not stop for a long time.
Xu Tingsheng gestured for Lu Zhixin to come over.
Lu Zhixin ascended the stage and arrived beside him.
The two clasped their hands in a sort of passing the baton.
“Keep up the good work in future,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“I”ll work hard to not let you down,” Lu Zhixin said.
Due to the reporters present, the two maintained their composure as much as possible.
He relased his grip and brushed past…
Lu Zhixin simply stood where she was, unmoving.
Xu Tingsheng waved and headed off for the side of the stage.
The reporters raised their cameras, anticipating that long-awaited photograph of his departing figure...it would be solitary, forlorn…
Yet, as they were about to click on their shutters, as he continued walking towards the exit, Xu Tingsheng raised his right fist up behind him, leaving it ever so firmly upraised as he continued walking till he was out of sight. He did not look back.
His departing figure was clearly so firm and resolute.
The young ladies in the company all felt it crazy cool.
While this was not what they had expected, the reporters...still clicked their shutters anyway. In truth, this might make for an even better cover picture…
“We do like Hucheng.”
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