Chapter 606: The path to the peak (1)

Chapter 606: The path to the peak (1)


A toast to Chen Jianxing. He should have been an ordinary man, a minor reporter at a news agency in a small county, writing only boring stuff throughout his life like commentaries on and asking after higher-ups...rather than such an ordinary life, however, he had ultimately overturned a city.

A toast to the perils of this world.

A toast to the gentleness of this world.

Two days later, his wife and daughter boarded a flight bound for Singapore. After their sorrow, they would thereon lead a brand new life. The happy memories and wounds that this man had left for them would slowly dissipate over time.

Time can resolve most of the world’s otherwise unresolvable problems.

The media did not have any followup reports on Chen Jianxing’s traffic accident. Perhaps it had to be treated just like any other traffic accident before being covered up.

Still, Xu Tingsheng had caused Weibo to appear prematurely in this world. This was his base.

At first, what appeared on Weibo was only an inquiry regarding the status of this traffic accident. Some ‘citizens of Xihu City’ were doggedly pressing to know if the vehicle in question had been found and how it had ultimately been dealt with.

It didn’t stir many waves.

Still, following that, the name of the victim, Chen Jianxing, was revealed. His job and career path were also revealed. His Deputy Mayor father-in-law who was currently under arrest for corruption was revealed...in the first place, this had never been a secret in Yanzhou.

And so, Chen Jianxing’s death was finally connected to that ultra massive quake which had occurred in Yanzhou some time back.

This man who had once been incomparably looked down upon by the people of Yanzhou in private for abandoning his wife and daughter to cling to authority and toadying around to gain power now instantly transformed into a hero who had suffered humiliation and bided his time to reveal the state of the corrupt bureaucracy.

“So, the whistleblower against the corrupt organisations was killed?”

“This is no ordinary traffic accident! It’s a sinister plot!”

“The corrupt officials dare to act so wantonly, so openly?!”

“So, what’s the verdict on how the corrupt officials will be dealt with?!”

“...”

Someone uploaded Chen Jianxing’s flight information. Right after a whistleblower had returned from the capital, he happened to suffer a traffic accident and perished...who would believe that?

The netizens had never lacked any hatred towards such decadence. The situation escalated unceasingly, furious voices filling the whole of Weibo and several other relevant forums. The people needed an explanation and a suitable conclusion to things.

The employees of Xingchen Technologies received notifications from the relevant authorities, requesting to delete all the related Weibo posts.

Xu Tingsheng complied with this very straightforwardly. He even went about it more viciously than had been requested.

Not only did he delete those posts, he even banned accounts and put up a public notification…

Xu Tingsheng understood the netizens much better than the higher-ups wracking their brains inside their offices did. In the internet era, the people who were used to tolerating and abiding things had a virtually crazed spirit of resistance.

The more you try to crush them, the stronger they resist. Also, they are full of methods for that.

Things escalated after this attempt to suppress them, the voices of doubt increasingly growing too. Xu Tingsheng and Xingchen were also getting scolded. Still, he was very happy about his being scolded...in this era, he was more experienced than anybody regarding ‘forcing law with public sentiment’.

He was seeking justice for Chen Jianxing while also forcing that person in a position of power to recognise the current situation.

The stance of the authorities began to loosen.

At this crucial point where they urgently needed a fire, Chen Jianxing’s former identity as a reporter proved useful. He had been the kind who possessed ‘a voice’ while not completely belonging to governmental organisations.

   

A portion of these people felt pride at this.

First, a media entity that had always possessed a certain degree of independence posted on its official Weibo page: To a reporter with conscience. Following this were pictures of candle, candle, candle, candle. A row of candles.

While there was no explanation, everyone quickly understood what it was hinting at.

In the span of a single day, this Weibo post was circulated over fifty thousand times.

Xingchen Technologies took the initiative to contact the relevant authorities, asking if they needed to delete this post...two hours later, the authorities sent a reply: Forget it.

People discovered this the next day.

Some people began pondering on the underlying meaning behind it.

Reporters have two things they are adept at.

First is reading the direction the wind is blowing. Nothing can elude their judgment.

Second is telling stories, including sorting out information, adding their own viewpoints and exaggerating.

That day, a reporter with considerable influence in the industry, also a popular figure on Xingchen Weibo, posted on Weibo under his own name. To be precise, what he posted resembled a short story:

A young reporter with a conscience stumbled upon a corrupt organisation. Thus, he relied on his looks, smarts and charisma and married the daughter of a high-ranking official amongst them, bravely venturing into the lion’s den.

Amidst his dangerous predicament, he cleverly hid himself, entering the core while secretly collecting evidence of their crimes every step of the way. He spent over two years doing so.

He stuck by his values despite the allure of authority and money, not losing his way. In the end, he resolutely exposed this corrupt organisation.

Sadly, he met a tragic end in the end.

At the end of his Weibo post, said reporter expressed that if this had happened in America, it would definitely have been adapted into a good Hollywood movie.

Next, a few print media companies had the gall to test the waters in reporting and expressing their opinions on this incident. In this country, people were still more used to feeling that things on paper were more reliable than news read on the internet...for once words were printed out in white and black, they could not be deleted, even changed.

Xu Tingsheng wiped his sweat. At this point, things were already hovering between the edges of acceptable and unacceptable.

He could not continue pushing this forward. At the same time, he could not let it die down. Since the commencement of the Fang family’s battle with the Ling and Xiao families, this was the best timing with an opportunity to bring it all to an end.

It might also be the sole good timing.

……

Xihu City. A hospital’s sick ward.

Having long been said to have no chance of waking up at all, old man Fang had already been lying there for quite some time. Shrivelled, weak, without form..though he did not miraculously awaken, he also ‘stubbornly’ did not die.

Even the medical personnel at this hospital felt this sort of ‘perseverance’ to be inconceivable.

Maybe it was just like he said. Having experienced bullets whizzing past his face more than just once in the past, having witnessed countless deaths, even Yama would have to ask his opinion if he wanted to reap his life.

Fang Chen was sitting beside the sickbed.

Ever since the day of Tan Yao’s burial, she had been here everyday, not saying anything while also no longer trying to change anything.

“You must definitely be very tired, right, Grandpa?”

“The time has come…”

“Previously, I never understood why you chose to leave this to me. I felt that it was so cruel towards me...now that I look at it, though, you were right. It’s just like how you decided to gamble on Xu Tingsheng before.”

“...”

As she spoke, she shed silent tears.

Previously, ever since old man Fang was hospitalised, he had only transmitted information to his family through a single person, Fang Yuqing’s father. He had only interacted with him.

Afterwards, after Fang Yuqing’s father had gotten arrested, at the end of Xu Tingsheng’s conversation with the old man, he had asked him who to ask in. The old man had said Fang Yuqing at first but later changed it to Fang Chen.

That day, Fang Chen had entered the sick ward and closed the door.

Old man Fang had said, “Chen’er, Grandpa must ask something of you. Right now, I still can’t die yet. You know that. I also won’t die so easily, believe me. Still, if the day comes when I should be dead...but I’m not dead yet…”

The old man pointed at a tube embedded in his body, “Pull it out.”

This was the task he had entrusted Fang Chen with.

“I’m already full of sin and destined for a life of pain and regret,” Fang Chen said as she looked at the old man’s closed eyes, “So, you were right...it’s best that I do it.”

Fang Chen averted her head, reached out and pulled out a tube on the old man’s body.

“Grandpa, Fang Chen is unfilial.”

……

The old man of the Fang family had died. One might say ‘finally’ died.

The funeral was arranged very quickly. The mourning hall was very big, being rather grand and magnificent.

The obituary was sent out…

The ‘final gamble’ for the Fang family that old man Fang had previously spoken of had occurred, the cards having all been dealt. All that remained was to reveal the cards.

……

Xihu City. A funeral parlour.

Fang Ruju who had previously been shot and injured returned from Jiannan. Besides him, there were also Fang Yuqing and Fang Chen who were present. Aside from Fang Ruli and her mother who had not been allowed to return, only these three people remained of the Fang family.

The trio knelt down in mourning attire on one side of the mourning hall, ready to return respects to the guests who had come to see the old man off.

Still, the Fang family had already been defeated, having been defeated too quickly, too tragically and too completely. Many people in the bureaucracy had long since chosen to keep a distance from them to show that they were not related, while the remainder was just watching. Nobody dared to rashly get too close to the Fang family before the situation became clear.

This was the Fang family’s current predicament over this period of time. If the situation did not change, it might be the future fate of the trio.

That entire morning, virtually no one came...Xu Tingsheng aside.

“I did my best, old man.”

Xu Tingsheng respectfully bowed deeply to the old man in farewell.

Walking before the trio, Xu Tingsheng asked, “Has there been any news?”

Fang Yuqing shook his head.

The situation had not changed by noon as Xu Tingsheng went out to buy food and ate together with those of the Fang family.

At 2pm.

A black sedan pulled up outside the funeral parlour. Four people got off the car. They were old men Ling and Xiao, Ling Xiao as well as the young man, Junwen or something who knew Yong Chun. Xu Tingsheng had met him at the Ling family home before.

The four people went inside and looked around. They did not go forward to pay their respects or do anything else for that matter.

They simply stood more than ten metres apart from the Fang family, not saying a single word.

They were the other side on the gambling table in this game, waiting for the final revealing of cards.

Silence.

The gazes of Xu Tingsheng and Ling Xiao accidentally met. They didn’t exchange any words, however.

It was deathly silent in the mourning hall as it seemed as though not even the slightest wind was blowing within.

In truth, though, countless eyes from Yanzhou and Xihu City, be they bureaucratic or corporate, legitimate or underworld, were fixated on this place. They were waiting. As soon as the result was revealed, they would begin to choose their sides.

The matter of choosing sides has always been one of the greatest forms of knowledge in the bureaucracy.

3pm.

A disturbance began to occur outside the funeral parlour.

There was the sound of vehicles and people.

First to appear in their fields of vision were two teams of armoured policemen who were in charge of clearing out unrelated people and security...

The four people of the Ling and Xiao families looked outside the door, the two old men clearly trembling a bit.

The trio from the Fang family raised their heads. Though there was no happiness in their eyes, there was consolation and hope within.

One had to admit that besides sighing in relief, Xu Tingsheng was also feeling rather curious at this moment…

A wreath was carried in.

Xu Tingsheng saw the name that was written there...

“What the...he’s a major figure who appears on national news once every few days!!!”

Of course, he could only exclaim this in his mind and not out loud.

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Mehxistence's Thoughts

This may be related to what Xu Tingsheng was thinking about regarding killing in 601.