Chapter 566: That road was your setup

Chapter 566: That road was your setup


“Back to Ling Xiaoqing. Her existence, her image, and her goodwill towards you,” Ling Xiao smiled slyly, “All these together can make the inner conflict she demonstrated afterwards alongside what she said and did totally, logically reasonable. Such as…

“Such as making me understand how determined you all are about this, making use of all available resources within the country. This was achieved with the first phone call after our meeting. You even emphasised on ‘within the country’ when narrating your thoughts on the matter, burying a seed in my mind,” Xu Tingsheng said.

“Right.”

“During the next call, Ling Xiaoqing sounded so troubled as she ‘pleaded’ with me to stay further away from the Fang family. These emotions revealed an inner conflict between being afraid of revealing your family’s plans and being worried about me due to that sense of goodwill...at the end of the day, it was only to make me believe that you were right about to move against the Fang family’s third generation, and almost definitely through violent, illegal means.”

“Right.”

“Anything else?”

“After going with you to the sick ward and then leaving that day, I returned and invited you to our home as a guest in front of everyone.”

“Your goal was to create a rift between me and the Fang family, making them grow suspicious of me?”

“This was actually secondary. After all, they can’t affect your actions. So, it was primarily about you. The greatest psychological undercurrent that the Fang family’s third generation’s distrust could create was that with them about to leave the country, you’d naturally feel ‘this old man finally can wash his hands off you’, that sense of relief. Facing two or more options, people automatically tend to choose that which makes them feel more relaxed and relieved.”

“So, my first thought at the time was...that’s good, at least the burden will be off my shoulders. An end can be brought to this matter. I also won’t owe anyone anything.”

“Right. So, everything naturally flowed to completion. I had already helped you to prepare the pressure from the external environment and all the relevant conditions and motives. With that, you’d definitely choose to support them leaving the country.”

“Were you involved with that foreign commercial group my Dad was hosting?” Xu Tingsheng suddenly thought of something.

“Yes,” Ling Xiao admittedly freely, “Still, they’re indeed here to do business. If your family finds them suitable, you can rest easy and collaborate with them. I actually only helped with their recommendation through a friend at the embassy. Also, it was naturally that friend of mine from the embassy that I wanted to recommend to you. After all, the Fang family’s third generation required so many documents. Under normal circumstances, it’d not be so easy to handle.”

This was probably the first time following Huang Tianliang that Xu Tingsheng had failed terribly at every step in terms of mentality and strategy. Also, this time, more completely, even his own movements had virtually all been manipulated by the other party.

“I take my hat off to you,” Xu Tingsheng forced a smile, “Anything else?”

Ling Xiao was not full of herself as she instead smiled rather awkwardly, saying, “No. I am very sorry. Our remaining work primarily all targeted the Fang family…”

“Like, say, Fang Ruju’s shooting incident?” Xu Tingsheng asked with a rather hostile look on his face.

“This...it’d be better if my older Dad speaks about this to you,” Ling Xiao replied.

Across the tea table, old man Xiao looked up, “You must know that we are all veterans of this country. We have all protected it with our blood and lives before. All we did throughout this entire process was completely legal. The Fang family’s second generation were all guilty themselves. As for the shooting incident, it was basically the only thing we did that bordered on illegal…”

“Bordered?”

“We grasped the movements of an armed fugitive and pushed his mentality to the brink of collapse, ready to engage in the battle of a caged beast at any moment...then found a time when that kid of the Fang family was on duty with rather low manpower on hand. Hiding the actual situation of that fugitive in part, we next transmitted the information to the Yanzhou Vice Squad. That’s it. Do you think that what we did went against the law?” Perhaps because of Xu Tingsheng’s earlier doubt, the old man asked rather furiously.

Xu Tingsheng had to admit that no fault could be found from the entire implementation process.

“Actually, we didn’t necessarily have to have that person from the Fang family get shot,” Ling Xiao explained, “So long as he was suddenly dispatched late at night, heard a gunshot and faced danger. Following that, the Fang family would feel like their kin was victim to a deadly trap...thus determining that we would resort to illegal, violent means to reap their lives. A mindset like this would greatly affect and influence the Fang family’s mentality. It’s virtually fundamental to all psychological manipulation, the most fundamental being fear.”

“The basis of these arrangements of yours was your analysis of Fang Ruju’s personality?” Xu Tingsheng asked.

“Right. His confidence, recklessness, hatred of injustice. So, he would definitely go. And as long as he went, it would already be enough,” Ling Xiao said frankly.

Xu Tingsheng’s eyes were emotionless as he stared at Ling Xiao in earnest for a good while, “So, the entire process was scripted and directed by you?”

“Right.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Afterwards, I found an even better target to exert pressure on.”

“Fang Zhong?”

“That’s right. When I learnt that he was going everywhere telling people about how much he had done and his frustrations, seeking some totally meaningless sympathy and recognition, I knew just how weak the eldest of the Fang family’s third generation is. Also, it just happens that he  returned from overseas. So, what do you think he will think of when he feels fear and despair, deciding to give up?”

“Fleeing back overseas.”

“That’s right. It wasn’t difficult to break him...no, in fact, it was very simple, too simple indeed.”

“Such as...a few public humiliations and a near-miss accident?” Xu Tingsheng said what he knew regarding what Fang Zheng had encountered recently.

Ling Xiao could not help but laugh before she slowly asked, “So he told you guys that he nearly met with a car accident?”

“Murder,” Xu Tingsheng said.

Ling Xiao shook her head, gesticulating, “That was indeed arranged by me. Still, it was actually more like this. For instance, walking on the road one day, a car brushes by you. Frightened, you scramble backwards. In the process, you fall out of panic. As you fall, two vehicles from the opposite end of the road, around twenty metres away, are heading towards you. Merely that.”

“...”

“So, crushing the mind of this eldest of the Fang family’s third generation was actually the easiest out of everything. Still, the effect was the greatest. His weakness outside and his hysteria and schemes in front of his family...were the greatest pushing force that spurred an end to this incident.”

Ling Xiao’s words were like the victorious side in a team game consoling their opponent, saying basically this: Actually, it’s not your fault. It’s all the fault of your incompetent teammate.

Still, Xu Tingsheng did not feel relaxed because of this.

“So, can you tell me now? Racking your brains to force the Fang family’s third generation out of the country like this...where is the fundamental difference between inside and out of the country to you guys?” Xu Tingsheng asked.

It was Ling Xiao’s birth father who answered this.

Old man Ling pressed on the tea table with one hand while saying in a heavy tone, “The fundamental difference is...we actually don’t mind breaking the law outside the country, even if it’s in the form of a gun assault case.”

“...”

“My father hates America a lot,” Ling Xiao added, “A coincidental shooting by local terrorists in America where guns are prevalent...wouldn’t have anything to do with our families at all. Right?”

Xu Tingsheng knew that Ling Xiao was actually totally right. Having personally heard these words, he knew and believed them. Still, if he said that, not only could it not be evidence, it might not even be believed by anyone.

“Capitalism itself is a mess,” Old man Ling raised his hand and looked at his watch, saying, “Soon now. Have another cup of tea.”

While the tea was warm, Xu Tingsheng’s hands instantly felt chilly. These things had originally been so far away from him...

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