Chapter 530: Bring an end to things
After Fang Yuqing had finished recounting the exploits or rather bull-headedness of his Grandpa in his early days, Xu Tingsheng did not say anything as he merely drank his wine in silence. His head lowered, he sipped mouthful after mouthful... the sound of his throat gurgling was the only thing that could be heard in the room.
It was a sole, steady rhythm.
Fang Yuqing was silent as well as he accompanied him in drinking and helped with pouring him wine. He had grasped the flow very well, pouring the wine in when Xu Tingsheng’s wrist was down and bringing the bottle away when he raised his hand. The rhythm was uninterrupted throughout.
After a long time, Xu Tingsheng looked up and said, “I’m hesitant.”
Fang Yuqing smiled, “It’s right to be hesitant. You’ve always been careful and meticulous...indeed generous when you foolishly roll up your sleeves and intervene, making everyone feel hearty and comforted. Still, this isn’t the time for that. Such a person would only make things even more messy at a time like this rather than being able to be of any actual help.”
Xu Tingsheng said ‘thank you’ before continuing, “I just made some calculations and weighed this matter…”
Fang Yuqing said, “It won’t be worth it for you no matter how you calculate.”
“That’s right. As I weighed it, I set up a balance beam in my head. The debts I owe, the benefits I’ve obtained, the price I might have to pay, I placed them all on one by one. In the end, one side remained ever pressed against the ground with the other pointing towards the skies. From the looks of it...it’s really just obvious what decision should be made.”
Fang Yuqing nodded in agreement.
The tides this time were truly too great. The current society was totally unlike the Warring States period where a bit of appreciation, favour or debt could cause another to willingly give up their lives for another in repayment.
Right now, when even Old Mr Fang’s former subordinates and old friends and the Fang family’s friends and relatives were all busy looking for a way out and de-emphasising their relationship, there was actually no good reason for Xu Tingsheng to dip himself in these turbid waters at all.
As Fang Yuqing was thinking this.
“How heavy is your tombstone?” Xu Tingsheng suddenly asked.
Fang Yuqing was caught by surprise as he remarked, “Huh?”
“Very heavy. Heavy to the extent that when placed on top, the side which was originally tilting skyward...touched the ground all at once.”
The meaning therein was obvious. Someone who feared the volatility of conflict would be entering straight into a massive wave that could originally have been avoided.
Fang Yuqing no longer stood on ceremony as he just averted his gaze from Xu Tingsheng, exhaling deeply, “Heck, how good it would have been if you didn’t randomly butt in back then. What a busybody.”
He was referring to how the two had met. Xu Tingsheng had run into Fang Yuqing and Yuqing who had yet to experience many things arguing by the roadside. He had butted in and added his opinion into the mix. Thereafter, the two had somehow or other come together and become bros.
Xu Tingsheng smiled, rubbing his face.
“Now I’ll calculate how to preserve myself after being swept into all of this,” He said.
“Right,” Fang Yuqing said.
“I’m very famous, young, talented and handsome with a positive image...people generally wouldn’t think of making a move against me unless they’ve really run out of patience, or it would be very uncomfortable for them.”
“I have something known as Weibo. This means that...my voice is very big, able to resound beneath all the heavens. I believe some would be afraid of this. Even though it may only be efficate once.”
“I’ll stand a bit more to the back.”
“As should rightly be the case.”
“Now I’ll calculate the extent to which I have to go,” Xu Tingsheng switched his perspective.
“Alright,” Fang Yuqing said.
“With the great tower on the brink of toppling, I can’t support it. I daren’t even lend a hand to prop it up.”
“Guaranteeing a peaceful burial for the old man, guaranteeing...that some people, like you, can find a place and live on properly and well.”
“Even this is already very difficult.”
“That’s as far as I go then. I’ll have a talk with the old man tomorrow.”
“Notify your family.”
In an independent ward for veteran cadres at Xihu City’s first hospital, Fang Yuqing’s father, the third son of the Fang family, walked carefully over to the side of his father with various tubes embedded in him, bending down as he said in a hushed tone, “Dad, I just received news. Yuqing said that that Xu Tingsheng will be coming tomorrow.”
The wrinkles at the corners of the old man’s eyes and lips tightened on his deathly pale face as he had probably just smiled.
“Good,” The old man said.
His son hesitated for a while, asking, “I still don’t get it, actually. He’s just a kid. However godly talented he may be, he’s still just a newly risen businessmen whose foundation still isn’t stable yet. Why do you have such a high opinion of him, Dad?”
As he asked this, a saying popped up in the mind of Fang Yuqing’s father: To treat a seeming lost cause as a potentially salvageable affair.
The old man caught his breath through the tubes and said, “In the three plus years since he started out...he has not made a single misstep. I wish for him to take a step for our Fang family...optimistically, treating a seeming lost cause as a potentially salvageable affair.
When Xu Tingsheng and Fang Yuqing were done drinking at the former’s home, they drunkenly took a taxi to Bright Brilliance.
The two requested for a small private room in a corner area, not looking for Tan Yao or Huang Yaming.
Fang Yuqing said that there was something he needed to do which he feared he could not do alone. He asked Xu Tingsheng to accompany him.
Tongtong took in a breath to calm herself outside the door before happily pushing it open and entering. It had already been quite a while since she last saw Xu Tingsheng.
“You, you are looking for me?” Tongtong asked rather nervously, having immediately run over upon receiving the call.
“Do you have any friends from Starry Splendour in the bar right now? Those who can keep a secret,” Fang Yuqing asked in his place.
While Bright Brilliance did not allow women who ‘sold’ themselves to ‘conduct business’ there, they did not stop the ladies from Starry Splendour from coming over to play in their free time, getting to know some rich customers or something.
Firstly, this was because Bright Brilliance was allied with Starry Splendour. Secondly, these women were mostly of high quality. When following the rules, they actually drew people to Bright Brilliance too.
As time passed, the girls forgot that they had originally come with snagging rich customers in mind as they mostly truly viewed Bright Brilliance as a place where they would go to relax and have fun once in a while. Here, they were often no different from other girls with leisure in mind.
Tongtong naturally understood what Fang Yuqing meant by ‘your friends from Starry Splendour’ and the reason he was looking for them. As he and Xu Tingsheng both already looked a bit drunk now, this appeared even more reasonable too.
Whether male or female, people are often able to let themselves loose more easily after drinking.
Still, Xu Tingsheng?
Tongtong glanced rather quizzically at Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng smiled and nodded.
“Yes, two of them just got here a while ago. We were on pretty good terms before,” Tongtong grit her teeth and said.
“Call them both over then,” Fang Yuqing said.
Tongtong looked again at Xu Tingsheng, “Is it both, two?”
She was puzzled. She felt that she knew what Fang Yuqing wanted, but...really, Xu Tingsheng too?
Already rather drunk and not knowing much about the inside stories in the first place, Fang Yuqing immediately answered rather impatiently, “Right, two...don’t ask so many questions.”
Tongtong reflexively answered ‘alright’ before looking rather pitifully at Xu Tingsheng.
“What is it?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Tongtong actually very much wanted to say: Since you are looking for...I, I could...how about me? Can you not look for someone else? You never did so in the past…
Still, she could tell that Xu Tingsheng had no such thoughts whatsoever as even his gaze did not linger excessively on her.
“Maybe he’s afraid that I’d become a bother in the future, that I’d harass him...would I? Maybe I really would not be able to stop myself from doing so.”
Tongtong thought disconsolately for a time before saying, “It’s nothing. I just wanted to say that I...have already decorated the house very nicely. How about you come take a look when you’re free?”
“Alright,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Now, go and call them over then.”
With a gut full of stifledness, Tongtong brought them over and pushed open the door.
Her two old girlfriends had actually seen Xu Tingsheng and Fang Yuqing before. As they discovered the two young handsome guys in the private room to their surprise and confirmed the fact, they both immediately blinked excitedly at each other, pinching their waists in delight with smiles on their faces.
“A big fish has come in.”
Tongtong knew what they meant.
She again looked ever so pitifully at Xu Tingsheng...ah, how unhappy she was.
Looking again at the two girls whom she had been on pretty good terms with before, Tongtong just found the sight of them a little unpleasant now…
There was the feeling of the monarch of the Women’s Kingdom watching the flesh of Tripartika land in the mouth of some minor demon, feeling just so stifled, resentful, aggrieved and mad.
“Look at how excited they are. How are they qualified?! They’re not as good-looking as me, not as familiar as I am with him...how can it be you?! A’Lin, or Yingying, who will he choose? No, Yingying usually goes too wild and over the top. Will it mess up the place?” She wondered.
“Come in, the two of you...you, close the door,” Fang Yuqing said, in quite a terrible mood.
Tongtong took a final, unwilling glance at Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng smiled and waved at her.
The door closed.
Bright Brilliance’s soundproofing was very good. Listening from outside the door, Tongtong was unable to make out the conversation inside...still, she soon heard a faint sound. She certainly knew what that sound was. It was something that could only be heard from women on beds.
“So it’s A’Lin? I just wonder if it’s him who…”
Tongtong’s chest hurt as she felt almost like crying.
A’Lin was indeed producing that noise, that kind with drunkenness and happiness. Besides that, while Tongtong could not hear this, the other girl, Yingying, was currently holding Fang Yuqing’s phone…
“Hello, who are you? Me? Don’t you care about that,” Her voice was quite loud, as was characteristic of those who were drunk.
“Looking for Boss Fang? ...He’s here, but he isn’t free,” She laughed, unbridled, suggestively.
The ebb and fall of A’Lin’s cries was audible just by the side. The person on the other side of the phone could surely hear them.
Fang Yuqing had previously told Xu Tingsheng that Yuqing would call him before going to sleep everyday now. It might not really be checking up on him. Rather, she could fall asleep better after chatting with him a bit...the person Yingying was talking to now was none other than Yuqing.
She would definitely be able to hear those noises.
“Boss Fang...some girl insists on speaking to you. She says that she’s called Yuqing,” A dainty voice resounded.
“Who?” A drunken reply came.
“She says that she’s called Yuqing.”
‘Who? Yu...the heck, who the hell let you pick up my call...you shut up, be silent.”
Fang Yuqing created an impression of frantically scrambling to answer the phone before very drunkenly, extremely panickedly saying, “Hey Yuqing, let me explain...no, can you please hear me out first?”
Xu Tingsheng could not distinguish what Yuqing said in reply.
Fang Yuqing said abysmally, “Yes, I admit it. I don’t want to lie to you. But…”
“But I’m running a business now, and it’s growing. It’s really inevitable that I have to entertain business partners sometimes. You’re not by my side, and so when I’m drunk sometimes...hey, Yuqing, can we not mind all this? Think about it. I’m a guy! Before I met you, I also…”
“No, it’s really just because I’m drunk. You know, ever since I met you, I’ve never thought that I might marry someone else. But...but things like this, these bosses-how many of their women at home do not know? They’ve all accepted it! Why can’t you just forgive me this once? I’ll change! I’ll definitely change. Or you can come over here to my side, keep an eye on me, alright?”
“Please, Yuqing...hello, hello…”
Fang Yuqing turned to look at Xu Tingsheng.
“...She said to break up and hung up.”
Yuqing was too silly, yet also too smart…
Silly as she was, if Fang Yuqing told her frankly about the crisis which he and his family was facing, asking to break up, she definitely wouldn’t make the rational choice of agreeing. It was likely that she would be burdened as a result.
At a time like this, she would definitely choose to accompany him.
Smart as she was, if Fang Yuqing made things up and said that his affections had changed...he wouldn’t be able to fool her. After all this time, she was very clear on Fang Yuqing’s feelings for her.
Fang Yuqing had staged a play, accidentally being discovered after drinking wine to entertain clients and committing a mistake after. This was in line with his current lifestyle. Yuqing would even feel a bit worried about it sometimes as she would occasionally threaten and remind him…
The regret and unwillingness to part that he followed up with...made the whole drama even more convincing.
“Her idea of relationships is too pure. So, she definitely won’t be able to accept something like this,” Fang Yuqing said.
This was the end to things that he sought.
Fang Yuqing who was over 1.8m tall, Fang Yuqing, a rich second gen who was used to being arrogant and domineering, Fang Yuqing who seemed not to care about anything at all...held his phone and sat limply on the ground against the wall, his arms on his knees with his face buried within as he sobbed…
He was a little boy from primary school.
Xu Tingsheng had not stopped him throughout the entire process, because Xu Tingsheng himself...was this kind of man as well. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have chosen to flee in his previous life.
A’Lin and Yingying had already long since lost that excitement from earlier as they were still somewhat unable to grasp the situation. They had simply blankly done as they were asked.
Of course, they knew at the very least that things were definitely not as they had originally thought.
As Xu Tingsheng walked over, the two hurriedly stood up straight.
He retrieved a wad of cash from his wallet and passed it to them.
“Tell no one about what happened tonight,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Yes, yes. You can rest assured, Boss Xu.”
“We know. Rest assured, Boss Xu.”
The two nervously chimed in agreement. They knew Xu Tingsheng’s relationship with Wu Kun, also knowing of the Black Horse Club and Fang Yuqing.
“Off you go then. Go back to having fun.”
“Alright. See you, Boss Xu.”
“See you, Boss Xu.”
The two opened the door.
Tongtong did not have time to move out of the way.
As their gazes met, A’Lin and Yingying who had just been instructed by Xu Tingsheng not to say anything swiftly averted their gazes and scooted off from the side, leaving without providing Tongtong with any information whatsoever.
Tongtong looked at Xu Tingsheng who was still properly dressed in the private room. She looked at Fang Yuqing who was sitting on the floor.
Xu Tingsheng looked at her too.
“Why is it that your eyes look like you just cried?” Xu Tingsheng walked over and asked.
“No, no I didn’t.”
“That’s good then,” Xu Tingsheng casually closed the door, “Let’s find a place and sit down.”
Tongtong gazed rather bemusedly at the private room where Fang Yuqing was still sitting alone on the floor.
“Let him be alone for a while.”
Xu Tingsheng and Tongtong sat by a corner on the second floor, listening to music and occasionally sipping on wine.
“If a man is afraid of burdening a woman over his own problems and chooses to let her go, fleeing...do you think that that’s the wrong or right thing to do?” Xu Tingsheng suddenly asked Tongtong.
“You guys make the choice?” Tongtong replied, “Have you ever asked us?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Much stuff happened and had to sort things out... New schedule should be once every two days. Hope to make it last to the end. This is an extra long chapter. The new arc, with much at stake, will escalate!