Chapter 471: Situation not impossible
Xu Tingsheng had thought such an answer would make Xiang Ning happy. Didn’t things like destiny and past lives always move the girls to tears in the movies? Wasn’t inexplicable love more profound than loving for you for so and so reason?
Yet, after hearing his answer, she clapped a palm on his shoulder before storming off in a huff.
Xu Tingsheng went after her, feeling a bit bemused. He pulled her arm, but she shrugged it off. He grabbed her hand, but she flung it off. He blocked her path, but she walked around him. He frantically tried to hug her to get her to stop but was pushed away…
From the look on her face, she was really pretty furious.
“What did I do wrong?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“What did you do wrong?” Xiang Ning asked.
Xu Tingsheng thought about it and replied, “I really don’t know!”
“Well, I think that what you mean is,” Little Xiang Ning said earnestly, her head tilted to the side, “You only like me because of Big Xiang Ning. How is it possible that you already liked me in your previous life? That’s only because you once liked someone like me, wait, no, it’s me actually who’s like her…”
Xu Tingsheng did not know what to say to that.
“But I really do like you, not because of anyone else, but because it’s you, you know?” Little Xiang Ning emphasised in an aggrieved tone.
“Right,” Xu Tingsheng nodded happily.
“But what about you?”
“It’s also you that I like. It’s you, really.”
“What is it that you like about me then?”
“No, that’s too vague.”
“I like how you’re beautiful.”
“Right, anything else?”
“Cute, kind, big-hearted, optimistic, energetic, cheerful, money-grubbing but also willing to help people, authentic, straightforward, muddleheaded but earnest, silly, believing that something is the absolute best after coming to love it…”
“Right,” Little Xiang Ning shamelessly accepted the compliments as she asked, “Anything else?”
“Huh~Alright, that counts too.”
Xu Tingsheng finally scooped up the smiling Xiang Ning, carrying her back to the riverbank as she chuckled happily. There she comfortably resided just like that, hands wrapped around his neck as she leaned towards his ear and whispered, “Uncle, it has been so long since we last…”
“So long since we last what?”
She looked at him with watery eyes, her lips making a ‘smuck’ sound.
“...Close your eyes,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Mmm,” Her long eyelashes trembled atop her closed eyes, the corners of her mouth raised slightly in anticipation despite her nervousness.
She did not flee this time. While she was breathing a little quickly from nervousness, she was still very brave. The tip of her tongue slid around gently, her two rows of teeth ‘gnawing’ lightly about Uncle’s lips. From time to time, there would be a bit of pulling. This sixteen-year-old girl, from some unknown source...seemed to have gained a tinge of wildness.
Xu Tingsheng’s feelings were stoked. Just as he was about to passionately reciprocate, his mouth was covered by a small hand. The person in his embrace moved away a little.
“Do you like it a lot...that way?”
“Where did you learn it?”
“Move over a bit,” Little Xiang Ning switched to sitting on Xu Tingsheng’s lap as she drew him in and said, “Big Sis Ye Qing taught me.”
“She taught you that?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Not exactly,” Little Xiang Ning said, “I often stay with her, right? One day, her phone was on her bed and her chat history with her boyfriend was open there…”
“And so you peeked?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“I just happened to see it,” Little Xiang Ning explained somewhat awkwardly, “And then I looked just a little bit more.”
“And what did you see?”
“Ye Qing’s boyfriend said he really couldn’t bear it anymore. She replied that her relatives were still there. Then, her boyfriend replied ‘then...bite’. She replied ‘You!’. Her boyfriend replied with a very happy emoticon. That’s all…”
“And then you asked Ye Qing?”
“Yeah. She taught me that I can bite softly like this when kissing.”
“That swindler…” Xu Tingsheng ground his teeth.
“What? Was she fooling me?” Little Xiang Ning asked.
“No, she didn’t. It’s alright,” Xu Tingsheng said.
This was only late 2005, nearing the start of 2006. Actually, in a few years, especially when ‘impure’ culture would proliferate, it would instead be strange for people to not know of this.
Xu Tingsheng remembered that in his first year of university in his previous life, he and his roommates had once cheerily discussed skin removal as one of them had had undergone circumcision before. This had been in the midst of a lecture...
In the end, a girl from the same class who had been sitting in front of them had turned back and asked, “Remove what skin?”
His roommate had hesitated for a bit and then replied, “The skin of buns.”
The girl had then said, “Oh, I don’t like eating the skin of buns too. Those in the canteen are too hard. So I will always shred them off…”
This girl had thereafter gained a nickname, ‘hand shredding bun skin’. It was to the extent that every time they went out for a meal together, so long as she was present, there would always be someone who would order a portion of shredded cabbage. This never failed to send them into peals of laughter.
“There’s something else, too. ‘餓’, the traditional character for hungry ‘饿’ -what does it mean?” Little Xiang Ning asked.
“So I’m guessing you saw that from Ye Qing again?” Xu Tingsheng asked helplessly.
“Yeah, Big Sis Ye Qing sent it. Relatives left, ‘餓’. She didn’t come back to sleep that night. I didn’t ask her about this.”
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment before forcing a smile as he replied, “Well, it’s probably because having relatives over really does take a toll on one’s health. Because of that, Ye Qing asked Tan Yao to have a meal together to replenish her nutrition.”
“Is that how it is?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Oh. And I thought it might mean something else,” Little Xiang Ning paused, next asking, “Also, are you really super pitiful? They all said that you’re the most tragic.”
“I,” Little Xiang Ning fumbled for words a little, “Actually, I do want to quickly give you a baby, a pretty one like Niannian or even a boy that we could betroth to Niannian. But I’m still not grown up yet. Sorry.”
Xu Tingsheng pinched her nose, “You’re still just a little thing yourself.”
After Mr Fu had sent the picture of the Deputy Mayor’s daughter and said those words, most of them felt that they weren’t in a position to say anything as bystanders. Additionally, the winter holidays were not long and the New Year was just around the corner. The party soon began diminishing in size.
Old Wai and Li Linlin went to the latter’s home. The trip could more or less be considered a proposal already.
Zhang Ninglang left with his girlfriend.
Song Ni’s three friends went home as well.
Fang Yuqing, Fang Chen and Yuqing left together.
While their numbers had dwindled, it seemed like the family of three was developing their relationship well. While Fang Yunyao had not expressed anything on the topic, she had unexpectedly become exceptionally kind and gentle after seeing photo and messages…
As they interacted more and more, Niannian and Fu Cheng grew closer and closer till she would not wail and weep even when Fang Yunyao was not around. Fang Yunyao even taught Fu Cheng how to choose milk powder, make milk, change diapers, coax their kid to sleep...
Fu Cheng was immersed in bliss and could not be happier…
Everything seemed great, though Fu Cheng would sometimes mention to Huang Yaming and Xu Tingsheng after returning that he was a little worried as to why Fang Yunyao had not brought up the events of that day.
Still, as time passed and harmony and joy reigned in the air, his worry and the frequency of him mentioning this correspondingly fell.
Huang Yaming went out everyday to scout Chengdu’s local bars and examine the possibility of opening a Bright Brilliance there too. Of course, it was difficult to know if this was but an excuse for him to go to the bar to hit on girls everyday.
Song Ni naturally had her own area to investigate as well. She was truly earnest in scouting the large scale supermarkets in Chengdu and the surrounding localities, for instance.
Xu Tingsheng’s daily life truly entered a slow rhythm. Every day, he would sleep till he naturally awoke. Once in a while, he would leisurely hang out with Little Xiang Ning. Once in a while, he would snatch Little Niannian over for a hug and a tease.
While he looked carefree indeed, Xu Tingsheng was actually also operating behind the scenes.
Xu Tingsheng actually had a different take on Mr and Mrs Fu’s determination from everybody else. It was just that he was keeping it to himself for now, not even mentioning it to Fu Cheng and Fang Yunyao.
On the surface, it might seem like it was absolutely impossible to change the minds of Mr and Mrs Fu.
Still, Xu Tingsheng believed that in reality, they should be very conflicted and hesitant, perhaps not truly being as determined as they seemed. One thing didn’t quite match up...they hoped for Fu Cheng to marry the Deputy Mayor’s daughter, yet had also agreed to and even expressed a bit of a desire for him to bring Niannian back. The two were actually completely incompatible desires.
Even if they seemed to have found a good reason, saying that they could accept Niannian adopted, that would still entail a huge risk. That Deputy Mayor and his daughter were not idiots...how could they not suspect anything at all whatsoever?
Behind this self-contradictory act, Xu Tingsheng could sense how hesitant and indecisive they truly were behind that uncompromising facade...their thoughts were on their family’s ambitions. Familial ties, though, actually still had a place in their thoughts.
In reality, Mr and Mrs Fu should not be that averse towards Fang Yunyao as a person. After all, as they knew the truth behind that incident and had gotten involved in it, they would surely have investigated Fang Yunyao before.
There should be two primary reasons for their actions. First was their family’s prospects alongside Fu Cheng’s future. Second was reputation and face, not just their own but also especially that of Fu Cheng’s grandfather who was rather well-known in Libei. There was a chance that that would lead to a lot of gossip and people talking beside his back, leaving him mortified and unable to show his face in public there.
While the problem of face might sound like nothing, it palpably hinders and harms the lives of countless people.
Looking at all these problems straight in the face, Xu Tingsheng felt that this situation was not impossible to resolve.
He had actually already embarked on the first step, having privately made arrangements for Xingchen Technologies and Hucheng to make use of their influence and connections on the internet to contact Tieba and the local forums to delete or edit those threads that concerned Fang Yunyao.
Most of these threads had actually already sunk to the very bottom. No one should notice it as long as they did not float up after this intervention.
Those that were suited to be changed would be changed to correspond with the truth of the matter rather than the rumours and speculation of the time.
Those that were not suited to be changed would simply be deleted.
This was a preventive measure such that people would only see the truth in the future if someone decided to look up and verify this matter when it came to their attention again.
Directing public sentiment has actually never been a very difficult thing. As more and more people grasped the truth, the misleading rumours would naturally be slowly shattered.
This was not difficult for the current Xu Tingsheng. The greatest trial was the yearning towards officialdom of the two older generations of the Fu family back in Libei.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Quite a long chapter.