Chapter 598: The most chaotic day, the best day
This was probably Yanzhou’s most chaotic day since 1976.
From Xu Tingsheng getting arrested, multiple rumours spreading about, to the Ding family being threatened, to the chaos on the streets in the morning, to Yanzhou’s government being sued by the Xu and Ye families, behemoths with backgrounds in the bureaucracy in the span of a single day and Ding Miao’s sudden disappearance…
Since that afternoon, without any prior warning, an unprecedented ultra massive quake had suddenly descended upon Yanzhou’s bureaucracy. In a single day, about forty local Yanzhou officials had been arrested. The massive upheaval affected even Xihu City.
Of course, most were also unaware that far away in Binzhou, territory was also switching hands on a grand scale this very night.
All of these things ultimately pointed towards the same person: Xu Tingsheng.
His might be the most legendary, most elusive name in Yanzhou these past two over years. He was still inside the detention centre. Trapped within a confined space, he had mightily stirred the tides and winds in three cities. This made a legend even more legendary, made people find it all the more inconceivable.
Only those of the Black Horse Club seemed to always have firmly believed that the outcome would be like this.
As could be seen in the newest Weibo post of the online celebrity ‘Wealthy Demon’ Hu Shengming: Of all the people to provoke...you had to provoke Godly Swindler Xu.
Attached was a picture of a village shaman inviting the gods.
Everyone could see where the wind was blowing. Xu Tingsheng who had never lost before seemed to have won another round, and in a grand, shocking reversal too.
Things were already all but settled. Still, Xu Tingsheng had to stay another night in his single cell. The reason for this was that an upheaval had taken place in the relevant department as something had gone wrong with the handling of the procedures.
To some extent, it had been caused by he himself.
The night was cold. There was no sense of accomplishment whatsoever, just struggle and an emotionless brief stop, resembling a sigh of relief in the process of great transformation. That night, Xu Tingsheng slept like a log under a new blanket a policeman had specially sent over.
He had a bad habit. When sleeping, he would lie on his side and press a corner of the blanket down on the left side of his chest...with the pressure weighing on his heart, he would feel a bit more assured.
Covering her face with both hands, Lu Zhixin had sunk down completely into the chair behind her office table, crying tears of joy.
Tang Yufei was leaning against the office table in her hot professional suit. Red lips, spectacles, high heels...this was her daily appearance. The male employees in her department were usually all fired up in their work like they had been injected with steroids.
“Crying?!” Tang Yufei asked.
“I’m not! I knew all along that he would be okay,” Lu Zhixin wiped her tears and said.
“It’s great that everything’s okay!”
“You shouldn’t take matters into your own hands in the future.”
“Don’t forget, he’s Xu Tingsheng!”
“If I were you, I would have leapt straight in that night and taken him down,” Tang Yufei licked her lips, “Then, I would have been able to…‘eat’ him in a different way everyday. Woah...oh, I feel fired up just thinking about it…”
“Alright, it doesn’t seem right to fantasise about him in front of you. Anyway, it’s just great that he’s okay. Who asked you to waste your energy...now, it doesn’t matter if you’re worried or you’re happy. He can’t see it anyway…” Tang Yufei tugged her collar, saying a bit vexedly, “Actually, I’m the pitiful one! I’m dressed so hot everyday, but I can’t tease Xu Tingsheng. Boring.”
“Right,” Tang Yufei continued, “Of the interviewees for assistant positions recently, some young boys who graduated from famous schools look pretty good! The key is that they want to look but daren’t, trying hard to hide it. It just brings me back to the good old days when I was deliberately doing a chair dance before Xu Tingsheng entered...simply marvellous! How about you pick one too?”
Lu Zhixin dazedly did not react.
“Forget it. I’ll give you some personal space. I’m going to the conference room first. Don’t forget about the meeting later!” Tang Yufei turned and headed towards the door.
“Do you think I could admit my mistake, apologise, and then chase him? Do you think it may be possible?” Lu Zhixin suddenly asked behind her.
“Chase him, you say? How?”
“Like any other, ordinary girl from university who falls in love with a boy! I mean that type that’s a bit more daring, gentle, beautiful and brave too. Giving love letters and presents, deliberately sitting beside him in class...discussing our graduation theses, inviting him to a meal at the cafeteria…”
“I was mad long ago. I should have acted like an ordinary university student earlier. Xu Tingsheng would have liked it.”
“You should take a look at the material for the meeting first.”
“Alright. Get listed. We should get listed. It’d be a wasted opportunity if we don’t get listed now.”
Tang Yufei laughed. Lu Zhixin sighed helplessly. She was Lu Zhixin, and she was not ordinary. This was something that would never change.
Yanqing, Qingbei, the library.
Wu Yuewei might be the ordinary, gentle, beautiful and brave sort of university student that Lu Zhixin spoke of. She spent most of her time living in the normalest fashion, carrying her cloth bag that she had woven herself to lessons, finishing her classes, eating, joining some clubs, having some aspirations, putting in quite a bit of effort…
The difference was that she did not have a university romance...Wu Yuewei gave most of her extra time from being single to the library. So, even in Qingbei, she was always able to obtain scholarships.
It was just like how she actually didn’t really like computing and programming, yet had excelled in it nevertheless.
During these summer holidays before Xu Qiuyi came to Qingbei, Wu Yuewei had not returned to Libei. Along with a few of her classmates, she had stayed behind to help their professor design some website for the local government, gaining some experience while earning a bit of money too.
She and Xu Qiuyi had previously agreed that the latter would come to their university to play before she enrolled. Still, because of an unexpected incident, she had been unable to come.
Wu Yuewei had felt ill at ease for quite a few days because of this incident.
That night, she received a text from Xu Qiuyi.
“That jerk’s fine again. We were worried for nothing again.”
In front of her teacher and all her classmates, Wu Yuewei burst into sobs all at once.
Her roommate and good friend pulled her outside.
“What is it? What is it?” She asked.
After hearing Wu Yuewei’s explanation, she said, “So, the person you like is really that Xu Tingsheng of Xingchen Technologies? I always thought that you were joking with me before.”
Wu Yuewei nodded.
Her classmate stared wide-eyed and slapped her thigh, “Hey, you’d better not let the seniors in our department find out then! Especially the graduate students.”
“If they know, if Xingchen Technologies want to hire people from our Qingbei, they’ll only get ruthlessly bashed, right? There are few girls in our department in the first place, and fewer beauties...it’s fine since you don’t have a boyfriend now. If you did, he’d be public enemy number one!”
“Wow, might they hack his website out of anger? Use hacks in his games...or hack his social media accounts…”
“Is it, is it really that terrifying?”
“Of course. Don’t you know that they are a bunch of IT shut-ins? Them...they’re too free and have no scruples in their boredom.”
“...It’d be better not to let senior brothers know then.”“Right. Still, I already know now.”
“Yes. You’re thinking...”
“Through you, I can get into Xingchen Technologies. With someone watching out for me, my prospects will definitely be endless, right?! Go, tell him that this lady will reserve a Vice CEO position first.”
The two started giggling non-stop.
A hotel in Xihu City.
“Really? ...Alright then...it’s okay, I know you did your best. I’ve got to thank you...as for a meal, that’s okay...I, I may go there to pick him up, but then again, I may not...bye.”
Apple hung up the call from her father, Cen Xishan.
She had already been waiting fruitlessly in Xihu City for a number of days.
“Everything’s okay now?” Her manager, Li Juan asked.
“Yes,” Apple nodded.
“Will you go pick him up from jail, then?”
“I, I couldn’t be of any help at all.”
“He won’t mind that, right? Still, if you’re really nervous, you can also call him afterwards. Since he’s only just come out, he should be very busy for a period of time. Actually, you’re very busy too. That recording studio in America that we rented has already been vacant for a couple of days...your second official personal album-can you please pay more attention to it?”
“Right. Book the plane tickets,” Apple smiled and said.
When both were working hard on their various paths and one met a rut, the other would stop and try hard to extend a hand, whether they could be of help or not. While this wasn’t a perfect state, it was actually a sort of tacit understanding.
“Right, when you call him, you should also mention the company’s suggestion. Ask him if he has any interest in singing a song with you in this album,” While packing her belongings, Li Juan said seemingly nonchalantly.
“Huh?” Apple was a bit troubled, “I, I think I’ll ask Fu Cheng about it. I tried asking some time back. He said that he has to earn milk powder money for his kid...besides selling himself and anything illegal, he’s open to doing anything.”
Li Juan chuckled out loud, “Is he willing to appear directly on screen then?”
Apple shook his head, “He said appearing on screen is considered selling himself. It’s a no-no. I think he’s mainly afraid of affecting Ms Fang and Niannian’s normal life by becoming a public figure. To him, protecting the warm, happy life of that little family of three is really the most important thing.”
Li Juan nodded and hesitated for a bit before saying, “Actually, if you really wish to return to being friends with Xu Tingsheng and acting naturally with him, I suggest you propose it to him a bit more naturally...just like in the past.”
Apple thought hard about it before saying, “Yes, I think I’ll try it.”
“That’s right. For what he needs to be concerned about and help with, don’t stand on ceremony with him. There’s no need to turn our relationship with him so awkward,” Li Juan said like it was only natural.
“True,” Apple smiled radiantly.
Yanzhou, Xu Tingsheng and Xiang Ning’s home.
After eating dinner, Mr and Mrs Xiang very understandingly moved back home. Xu Tingsheng would be back the next day...at this time, the future parents-in-law had better not interrupt the two lovers in pouring out their hearts and showing off their love.
Seated cross-legged on the sofa, Du Jin had listened to Xiang Ning’s chatter for the entire night. At this point, nearly all the words that she had refrained from saying these days had finally been expressed by her.
Xiang Ning said, “Big Sis Du Jin, can you help me cook some supper?”
“You’re still eating?” Du Jin asked in surprise, pointing at the packets of tidbits that filled the table.
Over this period of time, besides Mr and Mrs Xiang, it was Du Jin who had stayed by Xiang Ning’s side, consoling and taking care of her. The two were more like sisters than employer along with contracted.
Being respectful but distant in front of Xu Tingsheng, Du Jin was just like an ordinary lovable, gossip-loving emotional girl in front of Xiang Ning.
“I don’t want him to feel terrible when he comes back and sees me thinner,” Xiang Ning sniffed.
Du Jin’s heart melted at once.
The two sat opposite each other. Xiang Ning was eating. Du Jin wasn’t.
In Du Jin’s own words: I’m already too solid. I have to pay attention to my figure.”
This...if Xu Tingsheng were here, he would definitely exclaim, “A bodyguard like you actually wants to have a slim figure? Do you have any sense of professionalism?” To which Du Jing would probably pull her gun on him.
Xu Tingsheng had always suspected that Du Jin had a gun.
Still, Xiang Ning said, “Yeah, I think so too. If you fall in love, that, what, as soon as you take off your clothes, with all your very big muscles that’re much stronger than your boyfriend’s...maybe your boyfriend will run off.”
Du Jin expressed, “All hail understanding.”
After a short pause, Xiang Ning asked a bit hesitantly, “Big Sis Du Jin, do you think that...well…”
Xiang Ning asked quite bashfully, “If a girl takes the initiative to propose getting engaged, is it...is it very shameful?”
Du Jin replied very straightforwardly, “No! I’ve stayed overseas before. In many places outside China, the girl forces the guy to get married.”
“What if...what if...the girl is only seventeen?” Xiang Ning deliberately concentrated on her food and asked indistinctly.
Getting what she meant, Du Jin thought about it, “Xiang Ning, do you know? Men don’t want to get married, because that means that they will be shackled, won’t be free. So, it is often the case that men are just forced to get married. In some countries in Eastern Europe, such as Latvia, there’s a type of store that’s open 24/7. It is not a convenience store or Macdonalds. Rather, it’s the flower store. If already married men drink outside with friends till the early hours of the morning, if they don’t return with a fresh bouquet of flowers in hand, it’s probable that they won’t be allowed into the house. So, men who’re holding bouquets and walking on the streets in the early hours of the morning are often laughed at mockingly by other young, still yet unmarried men…”
“Huh? I don’t understand. What do you mean, Big Sis Du Jin?”
“When men desperately seek it, that’s the best time. After that, even if much time is spent, at least that man will still remember to coax his wife with a bouquet of flowers, right? So, what does age matter?! Xiang Ning, the road you two have to walk and the time he must spend waiting for you, they are too long...they really are too long...do you get what I mean?”
Xiang Ning seemed to have grasped something, but only partially. At her age, how could she know how powerful and terrifying time was?
“Yes, I get it,” Xiang Ning said, “Still, Xu Tingsheng...will he be afraid? Afraid of being shackled by me...it’s not like I’ll shackle him. Not so strictly, at least. I’m just thinking that that way, he won’t dare to let something happen to him again, because he definitely has to take care of me. I’m actually very selfish, Big Sis Du Jin. I originally thought that he should help Fang Yuqing and Fang Chen. Still, after something happened to him, I became very selfish, hoping that he won’t risk himself to help anyone again...because he should know that he is very important to me. I also hope that I am very important to him.”
“Yes, I understand. You’re right, that’s actually very irresponsible towards you,” Du Jin agreed, “I still think that you should restrict him, though.”
Du Jin looked at this young girl whom she liked a lot, saying, “I believe that Xu Tingsheng really likes you. Still, he’s too special. So, Xiang Ning...remember, don’t let him walk too high and too far away. Don’t let him take risks too.”
Du Jin was saying this to Xiang Ning like a big sister would. Like those who did not understand where Xu Tingsheng’s love came from, while she wished Xiang Ning good luck, she also could not help but worry for her.
“Right,” Xiang Ning nodded, thinking that she was actually a little afraid of him getting snatched away.
This was simply how it was. However ‘special’ Xu Tingsheng was, they were only the normalest girls, with the logic and mindset the typical girl would have.
Du Jin was just like a girlfriend in the capacity of a strategist as she pondered, then said, “To be honest, Xiang Ning, I’m rather worried that you haven’t thought things through properly. After all, you’re still young. Maybe even you have no way of judging…”
Xiang Ning nodded, saying, “I’ve decided. I want to be together with him forever. When I’m with him, it’s like however the whole world may become, I’ll always be doted on and protected. I want to dote on him too.”
Feeling a bit melancholic, Du Jin said, “I don’t understand what kind of feeling that is. Maybe it is something very few girls can understand. Xiang Ning...you’re so lucky.”
“I think so too,” The thick-skinned Miss Xiang chuckled for a while before asking, “Do you know? Once, when he was my tutor and we still weren’t in a relationship yet, he brought me to play in the suburbs, riding on a bicycle. Then, it started to rain…”
“What happened then?”
“We had to hurry home. But we only had a single raincoat. He put on the raincoat and told me to come in for cover. I got into the raincoat, hiding in his arms. As he rode the bicycle, I wasn’t able to see anything at all beside his chest...the sound of the pattering of raindrops outside was very loud. I also heard many vehicles of various kinds moving about. I heard people shouting to give way, give way...still, I wasn’t afraid at all. I felt like I was very safe. I just hoped the road that day could be very long, that I could always hide in his arms.”
Looking at her gentle, warm eyes, Du Jin reached out and rubbed her face.
“When he comes back, don’t let him run far again.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Super long chapter...I have to admit that I don't really get what Du Jin was trying to say.