Chapter 577: A shocking question
Xu Tingsheng shuddered inwardly...Ling Xiao’s grasp of human nature and ability to control the overall situation was godly indeed.
Ling Xiao looked at Xu Tingsheng, “According to my sources, that Fang Chen of the Fang family has already booked a plane ticket to America. Can you guess what she wants to do?”
Xu Tingsheng could certainly guess. One of Fang Chen’s motives should be to gather evidence linking the deaths of the Fang family’s third generation to the Ling and Xiao families. Still, she should be well aware that the chances of succeeding in this venture were incomparably low…
So, she was not aiming to come out of this alive.
The Fang family’s third generation having already met with an accident, if it occurred again at the same location, even a fool would know that this could not be a coincidence. The methods of the Ling and Xiao families would be revealed to all, not just the higher echelons...this would definitely fall under the scrutiny of the entire country, maybe even evoking mass outrage.
Fang Chen wanted to use this method to force the Ling and Xiao families to act more cautiously later on, with regard to her parents’ sentencing as well. Under the watchful gazes of millions, the Ling and Xiao families would surely not dare to exert too much pressure.
As for the few remaining members of the Fang family, much attention would surely fall on them, ensuring their safety much more.
Xu Tingsheng’s heart first tensed before it relaxed. Since Ling Xiao could see through Fang Chen’s intention to sacrifice herself for the sake of her family, she would definitely not let it succeed. So, in other words, Fang Chen would conversely be safe if she went to America.
While the two were silent, many thoughts and connotations had actually already flashed through their minds.
“Still, even if I don’t do anything, it also doesn’t mean that some other people can rein it in and also do nothing at all. When even the last bit of reservations are gone, many are often really eager to kick others when they’re down,” Ling Xiao continued, smiling, “I am rather looking forward to it, really. Who will do the deed for our Ling and Xiao families, serving nicely as scapegoats?”
What Ling Xiao had done was actually simple. She had created a new environment where Xu Tingsheng was not present, getting the remaining members of the Fang family along with those harbouring schemes against the Fang family and Xu Tingsheng to gradually act. Meanwhile, by imprisoning Xu Tingsheng, it would seem as if the Ling and Xiao families were finally acting against him as those who had originally had reservations would spy a chance and swoop…
Following this, she only had to quietly wait as human nature and greed naturally pushed everything towards the extremity of chaos.
Xu Tingsheng was thoroughly at a disadvantage again. What was different this time was that he might not even have a chance to make any reminders and get the situation under control. Meanwhile, he himself and what he possessed were likely officially embroiled in this.
“I’m telling you this because I think that even if I don’t say it, you should also realise it by yourself very soon. So, what I want to do now is keep you out of the game as much as possible, for as long as possible.”
Ling Xiao glanced at her phone, “I seem to have underestimated your father’s capabilities and determination...it looks like our net must act in its entirety this time to secure a few more days.”
She got up and walked towards the exit.
“What if your net breaks?” Xu Tingsheng asked behind her.
Ling Xiao stopped in her tracks and looked back...she hesitated for a moment but did not speak as she directly left.
In truth, the two old men of the Ling and Xiao families no longer held any direct authority. Their advantage lay with the net that they had spent the past twenty plus years building up. That net was sufficiently well-woven as they could wield it as they would their fingers.
Even so, the ‘fingers’ of the woven net were all intricately connected to one another. If their net was stabbed through, the damage this would bring was sufficient to carry severe repercussions.
The next day, Xu Tingsheng did not have any visitors at all.
On the third day, there were still no visitors from morning to evening. He could not get any news out or receive any news from outside. He began to feel rather anxious and uneasy.
That night, he had a visitor that definitely surpassed all his expectations.
At the same time, Apple received a call from Cen Xishan.
“Xiyu, regarding what we talked about, Dad has already found someone to help,” Cen Xishan made use of his role as a carrier of good news to call himself Dad, “Rest assured, Xiyu, since she’s personally gone to handle this matter, there’ll definitely be no problem.”
“Thank you,” Apple said, “Who’s she?”
“Got it. Anyway, thank you. I’ll get ready to leave and pick him up.”
“Wait a moment. Hey, Xiyu…”
“Do you want Dad’s help?”
“That Xu Tingsheng, Dad knows you sincerely like him. Actually, we can think of another way…”
“...He’s already given me enough. Everything I have now was actually given to me by him. It was he who accompanied me through my darkest times. I won’t, and don’t have the right to force him to do anything. So, please don’t try to do anything, much less go and harass him.”
Apple hung up, preparing to depart for Xihu City.
Xu Tingsheng watched as that woman named Zhou Yuandai sat down opposite him in a natural manner.
While it did not make sense that she had come, it at least proved one thing-the forces of the Ling and Xiao families were unable to hinder her, and she could simply come if she wanted. Also, there was not even a single guard present as they met right now. The power that she possessed felt somewhat inconceivable to Xu Tingsheng.
“Hello, Ms Zhou,” Xu Tingsheng tried hard to maintain normalcy and his composure.
Zhou Yuandai looked at him, seemingly finding this form of address rather foreign as she smiled in self-derision, “I haven’t been a teacher for a long time...right, it’s really been too long. Forget it though. You can call me that if you wish.”
Had it been very long? It should only have been a little over three years, right? Of course, it was technically not wrong to call it long.
“Well, Ms Zhou, are you here this time because Ms Fang asked you for help?” Xu Tingsheng probed.
Zhou Yuandai shook her head, asking a question of her own, “Aren’t you anxious now? I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the situation outside.”
This proved that the situation she knew of far exceeded Xu Tingsheng’s predictions. She was even clear on the actual state of affairs which he had thought only he and Ling Xiao grasped fully presently.
In that case, it seemed that there was no need to hide anything as Xu Tingsheng answered frankly, “I am rather anxious. I wonder if Ms Zhou can…”
“I can’t,” Zhou Yuandai cut him off directly, “It’s true that someone asked me to help you. Still, I having come does not mean that I’ll definitely do something. I came to look for you because I’d like for a trade with you.”
“A trade?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Right, a trade. Answer one of my questions, and I’ll help you take care of all the trouble before you,” Zhou Yuandai said.
If she had not mysteriously appeared out of the blue to meet him in jail, Xu Tingsheng would definitely feel that this was just a bad joke. An answer in exchange for taking care of all his problems? How profitable was that?
He said calmly, “In that case, Ms Zhou, tell me your question, and I’ll listen. I may not be able to answer for sure, though.”
Zhou Yuandai gazed straight into his eyes, “I have a friend who started accumulating wealth very quickly from the nineties. Still, the greatest breakthrough came in 1997, when the Asian Financial Crisis elevated her to heights even she found inconceivable at the time. In terms of both wealth and capabilities. I think you can probably understand that for some people, crises are actually the best opportunities…”
As she narrated this calmly, her attention was fixed on Xu Tingsheng’s expression throughout.
“When do you think the next crisis will be? And where?” She asked.
Xu Tingsheng’s mind spun.
If this question arose between two economists, two hobbyists, two businessmen...it would not be obtrusive. It was not obtrusive in itself. Still, when Zhou Yuandai asked him this, Xu Tingsheng instantly felt like he was in a cave of stalactites or at the edge of a cliff…
“2007, America,” Such a simple answer, and perhaps he could never go back.
The other party might not have the answer to this question, or perhaps...she actually had it. It was not important either way. The crux was who was asking, and who was being asked.
While his frame of mind had actually instantly collapsed, having begun to maintain vigilance and fear towards Zhou Yuandai ever since the first time he met her, Xu Tingsheng had made sure to remind himself to be calm and reveal nothing from the start of this conversation...thus, he barely managed to maintain his facade.
“Huh? Is this regarding...economic cycles? I learnt it in junior and senior high before, but I can’t remember it clearly. If it’s the location, could something happen in the EU where they’re all tied together?” Xu Tingsheng asked rather blankly.
Looking at him, Zhou Yuandai did not speak as she hesitated for a bit before getting up, “Why didn’t you just randomly say one? I actually don’t know the answer! This way is also good. I’ll leave now.”
In his dreams that night, Xu Tingsheng crossed the streets alone. The crowds...everyone was saying, “Look, a rebirthee!” Xiang Ning, his parents, Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng were asking, “Is it really true?”
Zhou Yuandai stood at a glass window, staring down at him from a tall building overhead as he scurried frantically to flee but to no avail.
According to the author, in order to ensure ease of understanding and smooth flow of events in the story, the next chapters will not be following chronological order but rather chains of events one by one. So, there will be overlapping times.