Chapter 536: Resisting the strongest with the simplest
The Fang family and Zhicheng Real Estate had simultaneously released a wild volley of shots. This trickled down the social hierarchy in Yanzhou as within a few days, it was more or less common knowledge.
Those of the higher echelons were still unable to comprehend this while the normal citizens were simply finding this intriguing.
The son and daughter of Eldest Uncle's family were more or less caught between these two states of mind, somewhat understanding but mostly feeling dismal.
Fang Zhong and Fang Ying had their pride and arrogance as elites who had returned from overseas. They looked down on Xu Tingsheng, just as they looked down on Fang Chen and Fang Yuqing who had only gotten into a third-rate local university.
As for Xu Tingsheng's accomplishments, they were like all of those young overseas returnees who loved utilising a mixture of English and Chinese alongside obscure vocabulary, believing that with the ideas they had returned with from America that were ahead of their time, succeeding was simply a given. Such was common in this generation.
Having virtually lost all confidence in their grandfather and Xu Tingsheng, the two blindly took it upon themselves and placed their hopes on participating in societal events to seek out a way to save their father.
They began frequently appearing at various events of at least a certain level.
One day, Fang Zhong happened to hear something at a drinking party. Someone teased the recent crisis management of the Fang family as he concluded such: If the enemy doesn't move, I won't move. If the enemy moves, I still won't move. One day, I suddenly clap my forehead, then I begin to swing my arms around wildly.
Very descriptive and very fitting.
The ensuing laughter deeply pierced the heart of he who had eminently returned from overseas.
That day, after requesting to meet his grandfather but being rejected, Fang Zhong held his head and wept bitterly, snivelling as he sat at the entrance of the sick ward.
"Why am I crying?! My heart really hurts! The lofty Fang family, becoming a laughingstock just like that. Woe betide me! Our vast family, these elites, actually having to listen to the wild gesticulations of an outsider, doing whatever he wants…"
His tears somewhat gave off the vibe of a pleading, loyal minister in the annals of history, desperately wishing for the good of the country. Fang Zhong, being too immersed in this play, got up and pulled the collar of Xu Tingsheng who just happened to have come to see the old man. He pressed him against the wall, tearfully questioning just what right he had to intervene in the affairs of the Fang family and why exactly he wished to harm them.
Empathising with how worried he must be about his father, Xu Tingsheng let this go without any dispute.
Fang Zhong took his silence as an admission of guilt. Seemingly having the feeling of a competent person having his talent buried, he soon started going around everywhere moaning of his troubles, describing the problem the Fang family was facing and how he wished to but was heart-wrenchingly unable to do anything about it.
He thus received a lot of 'sympathy' and 'consolation', which made him feel very good about himself. Yet, what he did not know was that others instead viewed this as the true joke of the Fang family.
In truth, those who have reached a certain level will actually never come to a conclusion quickly on things that they cannot comprehend. Rather, Fang Zhong childishly going around everywhere pouring out his heart without knowing the weight of matters more easily pushed all to the conclusion that 'there is no able person in the Fang family'.
A side-effect of Fang Zhong's actions was that more and more people began paying attention to Xu Tingsheng in connection to the Fang family and what they were facing.
There is generally such a mindset amongst the Chinese. In seeing one succeed, their first thought will be: He has a background! How else could he have succeeded otherwise?! As outsiders saw it, the ties between Xu Tingsheng and the Fang family ran deep, the latter having served as his support in the government all along in protecting his smooth upward rise.
That Xu Tingsheng's figure had indeed appeared in the Fang family's crisis this time seemed to solidify these views. And so, they saw his foundation as currently being shaken.
They saw him as being in the eye of the storm.
Hearing many such rumours, Mr and Mrs Xiang set aside some time and found an excuse to invite Xu Tingsheng to their home for a meal. There, away from Xiang Ning's ears, they carefully hinted, "Actually, the two of us have no expectations that Little Ning must be rich and prosperous in the future. So...worst come to worst, you can come and sell braised chicken rice with us, or find a stable job...at the end of the day, everything's fine, so long as everyone is here."
Xu Tingsheng was very moved and heartened by this.
In truth, though, he was still very far from the storm. In order to see things more clearly, Xu Tingsheng had mostly been placing himself outside of the situation in recent days, resting and attending lessons as he should outside of the necessary daily analysis.
The little sense of urgentness he felt stemmed from his trust in the old man. While the old man had not told him like he had told his son in private that he was really treating a seeming lost cause as a potentially salvageable affair, he had openly handed things over to him.
Thus, Xu Tingsheng felt much like pointing to a chessboard, someone had suddenly said to a mere hobbyist: Go, go have a game with Ma Xiaochun. My life is in your hands, so..
After feeling lost and directionless for two days, Xu Tingsheng began to read. Such a last minute thing might be laughed at by others, but this was the only thing he could think of and do right now.
Once, he coincidentally recalled such a saying: Using the simplest, most basic to resist those stronger, with more experience, more genius.
This had been used by a basketball commentator to describe Deng Ken not long after he had begun his career. Xu Tingsheng felt that its usage was not just limited to the domain of sports.
Xu Tingsheng had cultivated quite a good habit of reading in his two lifetimes. Also, the scope of what he read was wide. This included books like <<Caigentan>>, <<Sketches by the Little Window>> and <<Fireside Chat>> that were once obscure but had become classics as well as the likes of <<Thick Black Theory>> and <<Home Letters from the Marquis Zeng Guofang>> which everyone knew about. He had read all these books more than just once before.
Still, these books were actually still unable to meet the benchmarks of 'simplest' and 'most basic'
somewhat. After all, they were consolidations of the subjective experiences of others, creating a wall between them and the concept of 'most.
Because of this, Xu Tingsheng borrowed a book from Yanzhou University's library that records showed had actually been borrowed less than five times before, Alfred Adler's <<Understanding Human Nature>>. He did so rather than borrow <<What Life Could Mean To You>>, a book by the same author.
The fundamental starting point of this founder of individual psychology was the inferiority complex in shaping personality. This was generally equivalent to Xu Tingsheng's personal view on human nature.
While Xu Tingsheng's usual reading speed was very fast, he was very slow in reading this book. As he saw it, the difficulty of reading a translated, famed Western book on psychology was about as high as eating a whole turtle raw.
He called Hu Chen and entrusted him with buying an original English version.
Right after he had put down his phone, it vibrated again.
Huang Yaming had sent him a text. There was a picture of a gun, accompanied by the words: God created men, guns made men equal.
Xu Tingsheng recognised this sentence. Its original version was: God created humans, Colt made humans equal.
A Colt was a type of gun too.
A gun could make a weak twelve year old girl and a stout 28-year-old man stand on equal ground. It was an equality in killing, as well as of being killed.
"Don't touch that stuff," Xu Tingsheng replied rather hastily, not knowing what Huang Yaming meant by suddenly saying this.
"Chill! I was just joking," Huang Yaming breezily sent back.
This was soon followed by, "Just treat this thing with the Fang family as a sort of exercise. Whatever happens to Yuqing, he can always retreat to Bingzhou. Old Jin and I will be waiting over here."Previous Chapter Next Chapter