Chapter 641: A handful of soil (1)
Before dinner started, Xu Tingsheng and some local officials sat together and chatted for a while.
Another table was set up at the welcoming banquet at his suggestion to seat the official in charge of the local police station where the mausoleum was and the chiefs of the villages nearby. Meanwhile, the local Public Security Bureau’s Chief was included amongst those hosting them with him.
Xu Tingsheng did not feel that this was beneath his dignity. On one hand, he did not care so much about status in the first place. On the other, this was just how the culture in this country was. Even the Heaven Equalling Sage in Journey to the West would have to look for the Earth God after going to a new land.
After leading the first round of drinks, Xu Tingsheng brought up the matter of the excavation site’s security in front of all of them.
The official in charge of that local police station was first to declare, “My men and I will definitely do our best to ensure it.
He just had to declare this. In not even mentioning the extortion incident from earlier here, much less pursuing it, Xu Tingsheng was extracting such a promise from him.
Officials did not like to say things too openly as it was better that both sides clearly understood what was going on. That was better than Xu Tingsheng expressly saying: A mutual exchange, with me showing you my respect by paying you one in return for ten. If you don’t understand, well then, I’ll take back the one that I respected you with.
Following that, the village chiefs expressed their stances too. On one hand, they’d properly do their jobs and try their best to ensure that no problems were caused. On the other, if there was anything that they could help with, he only had to ask.
This promise was actually no less weighty at all than that of the police station.
To be honest, where were there so many professional grave robbers in these peaceful times who would target mausoleums? Most of them were actually villagers from villages near the mausoleums. They were in just the perfect place for the perfect deed. Also, with so many mausoleums present nearby, this was even a craft and family tradition for many of them.
As for who exactly these people were, no one understood it better than the village chiefs here. There was definitely also no one who could persuade or suppress them as effectively as them.
Since Xu Tingsheng had given them face and they had accepted it, they had to do some work then. Also, everyone knew full well that besides Xu Tingsheng, the Chief of the Public Security Bureau was seated there too. This was equivalent to an unsaid sentence being buried beneath the surface: We won’t ask too much about it now, but if anything really does happen, you village chiefs will be the first people we look for. It will be up to you to coordinate with us at the time.”
“To be honest, Boss Xu,” The Chief of the Public Security Bureau did not put on the airs of an official at all as he conversed in a very normal manner, coughing as if in a bit of a difficult spot, “If you give us face, Boss Xu, we’ll definitely accept it. Moreover, this is my duty in the first place. Still, I must say that the difficulty is really very high. Though I wish to give you a guarantee, I dare not do so.”
“It was us who applied to the higher-ups to speed up the excavation at the time. Why? Because we really couldn’t withstand it. As this Cao Cao’s mausoleum had a paper pointing to it, there were truly too many people who were aiming for it...Cao Mengde’s mausoleum! Just about anybody would think that there’d surely be countless treasures inside...people will die for money. In having come to enter this pond of turbid water, many people have already thrown wind to caution.”
The Bureau Chief’s words seemed perfectly reasonable and honest too.
When youngsters who had just entered society met with this sort of situation, hearing people of high positions pouring out their hearts and troubles, it was easy for them to be moved...they would feel that them being in such a high position yet still facing them with such sincerity was very hard to come by. Then, they would empathise even if they were taken advantage of, being subservient and working diligently even if given tough jobs, not knowing that they were being used as pawns even in some extreme cases.
In truth, they should think about it another way. This was actually the Bureau Chief pushing any future responsibility cleanly away. It was not just that. The promises that Xu Tingsheng had extracted from the official in charge of the policemen and the village chiefs also became thoroughly meaningless with this.
Really, officials! While Xu Tingsheng’s lips curled, his eyes turned cold, “In that case, since this place is close to Binzhou, I’ll just get Old Jin and Huang Yaming to directly dispatch some guys over from the mines. It’s just that doing this is easy to cause misunderstandings and also won’t sound very good...will you guys help me think of an explanation? Or greet them for me instead?”
It was not that Xu Tingsheng had never considered dispatching people from Binzhou before. It had two points for consideration, however.
First, it was fine that he was privately sponsoring a national archaeological excavation. Still, if he got his own manpower to intervene on top of that, people would surely think that there was something suspicious going on. Some might even speculate that he would secretly work to acquire the riches of the mausoleum for himself. It was going against the whole world.
Second, in this country, once you had acquired more than a certain amount of private manpower, that was not something you could randomly lay around.
Indeed, the Public Security Bureau’s Chief grew panicked as soon as he heard this. If such a group of people was really dispatched in, what would that signify? What would it mean? What would it result in? What was the point in having him, the Public Security Bureau Chief, around?
Let alone the ‘saliva’ from the internet, even the officials outside right now would censure him.
Xu Tingsheng was being unrelenting in his words. Having been genial for the whole day, this was his first time putting on such a front...reminding the other party not to forget who he was.
The other party was very smart as well as he promptly made a decision, afterwards also not directly replying to those words of his.
“Well, it may be difficult, but that’s where my responsibilities lie. Rest assured, Boss Xu. I’ll go all out,” The Bureau Chief put on a righteous look as he raised his glass, saying, “I’ll take the lead in this matter for everyone seated here, patting my chest. I guarantee for sure that everything will be successful for the excavation work.”
Some people just loved to pretend that they were straightforward and frank, speaking in a very rough-ish manner to hide their actual cleverness.
Still, this was not important. It was good enough that he had pushed the responsibility onto him.
“I’ll entrust it all to everyone then. Thank you,” Xu Tingsheng drank the wine and sat for a while longer before raising his cup again and saying, “I must still go out and toast the higher-ups of the county. Please enjoy yourselves in the meantime.”
He drank up and left his seat, leaving the remaining time for those of the locality to discuss amongst themselves. There were some things they could really just not say in front of Xu Tingsheng.
“Village head Zhao, Er Hei and co from your village-do you think I should lock them up for a while or can you persuade them? This is a national project, with a squad from a famous university apparently reporting on it. If anything happens, we’ll all be dragged down.”
“For Village head Niu, I heard that He Dahan’s family has a few objects that don’t seem to have come from legitimate sources…”
As soon as Xu Tingsheng went out, he heard the higher-up from the police station begin to call out names.
Now this was really the locality handling stuff. So-called police investigating matters...it actually was far from as miraculous as depicted in movies and novels. In villages and such, whenever an incident happened, it was usually the case that the police could immediately circle out the suspect, their judgment seldom deviating from the mark.
There was actually no need for Xu Tingsheng to have worried about the situation on the other end, because He Yutan had arrived. He had been absent during the earlier incident, having gone on ahead to confirm their check-in at the hotel. Otherwise, he would definitely have handled it in a more experienced manner.
With him present at the dinner, Xu Tingsheng naturally had it a lot more relaxed.
Some of the professors liked to drink. So, the situation was still quite lively.
Xu Tingsheng did not greet everyone loudly as he just sat down directly beside Yan Zhengyu.
Yan Zhengyu clinked glasses with Xu Tingsheng and downed the wine. He could actually sense that Xu Tingsheng had spent quite a bit of effort on this matter, excessive even.
Three years ago, he would still have needed that paper to earn reputation and status because of the education website and training institute he was running. Now, however, the need for that had long since disappeared.
Could it because he loved history? It really didn’t seem that way!
So, this kid probably wants to help me to make a comeback...so, could it be his appreciation from me helping him to publish that paper three years ago? Or because this acquaintance of great age difference has hit it off well with me, feeling deep teacher-student bonds?
Not knowing of how he had thought highly of and taken care of Xu Tingsheng for four years in a previous life, along with Xu Tingsheng’s guilt from having let him down, he was inevitably unable to understand it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter