Chapter 553: The final path
Xu Tingsheng sent Wu Yuewei off at the airport in Xihu City for the second time. The mood was not as heavy as the last time. Wu Yuewei had exhausted all her strength the last time, yet could smile and wave goodbye this time.
Rather than because of time and how things had changed, this was really more because of Wu Yuewei’s own growth. Having studied at Qingbei for two years, this girl’s enviable intelligence in studying and other areas had finally began to slowly affect how she saw relationships.
This might be similar to her mentality after studying in graduate school in her previous life. Some things were to be preserved. Even as there was no need to force herself to forget, she should also not try to force what could not be forced.
On the return journey, as Xu Tingsheng was still not used to sitting in the back of the car like some bigwig, he sat in the co-driver’s position, feeling rather out of sorts as he looked at Du Jiang beside him who had actually accompanied them and witnessed everything.
“Stop smiling like that, Bro Du,” Xu Tingsheng said guiltily.
“I’m not,” Du Jiang said, but he actually was.
“Actually, those of us in this line all know the rules. We always pretend not to see this sort of thing and don’t tell anyone about it. Rest assured, I won’t say anything even if your Mum and Dad ask me. Du Jin even said she had a former employer who went at it directly in the car. As she’s a girl after all. It was because of this that she quit that job in the end, after which she came to our family,” Du Jiang seemed to realise that there was something wrong with his manner too as he elaborated.
“Didn’t she still tell you about it then? Also, what’s with the example you raised? As if there is really something going on between us in the first place,” Xu Tingsheng thought to himself.
Still, there seemed to be no need to explain and argue about this. Xu Tingsheng just said yes and kept quiet.
The car left the highway, turning towards Xihu City’s First Hospital.
Leaving Du Jiang outside the door, Xu Tingsheng ignored the bunch of deathly pale ‘zombies’ in the exterior room in his haste and knocked directly on the door of the interior room.
It was Fang Chen who opened the door. Xu Tingsheng glanced at the sickbed as soon as he entered. The old man seemed to be asleep, with all those tubes and devices stuck within him the only indication that he was still alive.
“How’s the old man?” Xu Tingsheng asked hopefully.
With the old man being so tough, he hoped and believed that he was still holding on strong, that there would be someone he could discuss things with.
Fang Chen carefully closed the door and looked rather helplessly at Xu Tingsheng, “He still wakes up from time to time, but only his eyes can still move. He only blinks, and can’t speak. Everything else, he’s basically unable to do.”
Xu Tingsheng was silent for a while, actually feeling a sort of helplessness too at this moment...at this point in time, things seemed to have finally fallen completely onto his shoulders.
“Did the old man have anything else to say to me?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“No,” Fang Chen answered.
“Damn...that shameless old thing,” Xu Tingsheng turned and glared at the old man on the bed before looking down and smiling tragically for a bit.
What did the old man mean by this, not leaving anything for him at all? It was very simple. He was leaving it all to Xu Tingsheng.
A surprised Fang Chen asked a little angrily, “You...are scolding Grandpa?”
“Right. He’s really left a whole mess of things for me. I couldn’t help it earlier.”
“I’m done scolding. Off to work now,” Xu Tingsheng turned and headed outside.
Fang Chen followed behind him.
The exterior room was filled with women and children. Well actually, Fang Zhong and co should not be considered children originally. They were even older than Xu Tingsheng. Still, how they had acted and handled things over the course of this entire incident might make them inferior even to children.
“So, what should be done now? The brothers and sisters are all already in prison. And the childrens’ safety…” The wife of the Fang family’s second son stood up and asked blankly. Holding the back of a chair for support, she looked like she might just fall at any moment.
It was not a nice feeling, being stared at by a pair of eyes like this. In front of him was a helpless wife and mother, yet he had no way of giving her any response. He could not promise her anything much less reveal the truth: You guys have long since been discarded pieces.
The entirety of their Fang family’s second generation, along with part of its third generation, would be given up on, even sacrificed, to appeal to the sympathy of that person of high status. The plan was to wait for him to appear, and leave a path for the three ‘seeds’ whom the old man had personally chosen-a path of life, that enabled the Fang family’s resurgence.
Xu Tingsheng had been requested only to protect and secure those three ‘seeds’ and to think of a way to blow things up to an extent where that person would not be able to simply ignore it.
“What use is there in asking him?” Fang Zhong suddenly stood up and bellowed, pointing towards Xu Tingsheng, “Have you seen him do anything at all? He’s not of our Fang family. Even if everyone from our Fang family dies, what does it have to do with him? The old man’s muddleheaded. Are you lot all going to be muddleheaded along with him?”
If this had been two days earlier, he should have received a slap for this. Still, most of all those present evidently agreed with his viewpoint now.
It was not only those directly related to the Fang family by blood who were currently present. Some who were closer with the Fang family had also been dragged into the matter by now, many having been jailed as a result. And all their wives and kids could come up with was come look for the Fang family.
“Cousin, don’t get so worked up,” Fang Chen advised.
“I’m not worked up? It’s fine that my face is gone, but my life is almost gone too. How can I not be worked up?” Fang Zhong propped a leg on a chair and raised a trouser leg to reveal a scrape around the size of a palm, “I was very nearly killed in an intentional car accident yesterday. They want to exterminate our Fang family.”
“What happened?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“My brother was just walking out of the hospital yesterday when a car sped by him at a very high speed, pushing him onto the opposite end of the road. If my brother hadn’t reacted fast enough and immediately scrambled out of the way, he...he would have been killed by an incoming car.”
It was Fang Ying who said this.
“I was watching this by the side. The driver clearly spun the wheel when beside my brother, meaning for the car to strike him. And they didn’t even get off their car to check afterwards…”
“This was clearly a premeditated murder. They...want to move against us remaining ones.”
“When I was out with my brother a few days ago, somebody started a quarrel with him. Not only did he resort to violence, he even...said that not one of us from the Fang family will remain...the family line will be cut off for good.”
This seemed to be outside of Xu Tingsheng’s original evaluation of the Ling and Xiao families. When dealing with the Fang family’s second generation, they had actually walked some ‘legal’ channels, making a big deal out of existing problems at most. Yet like Fang Ying said, such an incident here seemed more like...murder.
The Ling and Xiao families were resorting to extreme modes of action?
“What do you guys intend to do then? I’d like to hear it,” Feeling momentarily helpless, Xu Tingsheng asked.
“I’ve discussed with my brother. We want to go back to America,” Fang Ying said.
“There’s no point in staying anyway…” Fang Zhong added.
“Leaving the country…” Xu Tingsheng pondered.
The wife of the Fang family’s second son approached, saying in a low tone, “About that, we think so too. I think that we should send the kids overseas. Since we can’t afford to provoke them, we should hide from them...considering the current situation, this could be the final path available to us.”
Xu Tingsheng surveyed the bunch of women and children in the room...they would be useless if they stayed, and it would be dangerous for them too...perhaps it was true that only the option of leaving the country to avoid danger remained.
“It’s just that…” She continued, “Now that so many things have happened with our family, I fear that it will be difficult to get the required documents for the kids done. Our family is also unable to find anyone to help with this now. Can you do anything about that?”
“Everyone leaves the country?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Yes. The kids will all go. I’ll stay,” The wife of the Fang family’s second son said.
“I’m not leaving.”
“I’m not leaving.”
It was Fang Chen and Fang Yuqing who had said this.
“You’ve got to go too,” The woman said firmly, “All your cousins, so many kids are depending on you to take care of them.”
While saying so, she purposefully avoided looking at the reactions of Fang Zhong and Fang Ying.
“If the two of you really feel unresigned to this, you can return after a few years have passed,” She added, her tone pleading.
“With so many people going, what will we live on?” Fang Zhong asked, looking awkward for a moment before he continued, “What I mean is, Fang Ying and I are both still in graduate school. We haven’t graduated yet...we can’t bear this load. Our parents’ assets are probably all frozen. We can’t withdraw them...unless the old man…”
“You don’t have to worry about that,” The wife of the Fang family’s second son interjected.
“That’s good then. I won’t have to give up on my studies. I was originally intending to give up on my studies for the sake of our many young ones, going out to find a job…” Fang Zhong seemed to be explaining himself, but anyone could tell that he was just making excuses.
All the remaining gazes fell on Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng inhaled deeply. While this might not be in line with the old man’s original scheme, it might be able to preserve the safety of more people and bring a swift resolution to this matter, taking the load off his shoulders. Also...in truth, was there any other option available to them?
“In that case, you guys discuss among yourselves a bit more. If you are sure about such a decision in the end, I’ll think of a way and get your documents signed,” Xu Tingsheng said before directly leaving the room.
Feeling an inexplicable sense of unease yet unable to grasp the reason for this, after going outside, Xu Tingsheng dragged Du Jiang and went to the connecting balcony where he lit a cigarette.
His phone rang.
Rather unexpectedly, it was Ling Xiao who was calling.
“Hey. Miss me?” Xu Tingsheng feigned a relaxed tone.
It was silent for a while before a rather troubled, dismal voice responded, “Xu Tingsheng, if I am Ling Xiaoqing now...I mean, what I’m going to say now, Ling Xiao won’t say. Only Ling Xiaoqing will. You...do you understand?”
“Yes. Ling Xiaoqing.”
“I, I, Ling Xiaoqing wants to tell you. Can you start distancing yourself from the Fang family henceforth? Please, I beg you, just don’t stay so close to the Fang family…”
Urgency could be heard in her tone, even traces of crying...which then terminated all at once.
The busy tone could be heard from the speaker, indicating that the call had been disconnected.
“Why is it that Ling Xiao can’t say it, whereas Ling Xiaoqing would advise me to stay away from the Fang family?” Considering her earlier tone and state too, it was not difficult for Xu Tingsheng to come to a conclusion.
The Ling and Xiao families were really going to resort to extreme methods and move against the third generation of the Fang family. She was worried that he might be implicated as a result.
“In that case, leave the country? ...Leave the country.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter