Chapter 642: A handful of soil (2)

Chapter 642: A handful of soil (2)


Only having seen that arrogant bunch of people back in the 90s when Hong Kong businesses returned to the mainland to invest would one know just how passionate local governments were towards potential investors.

In the 21st century, the situation was somewhat better. Still, directing investment remained an important part of the job scope of the various counties.

After it was noticed that Xu Tingsheng had come, he unquestionably became quite a focal point.

Thankfully, as he had always been pretty good at acting drunk, he did not drink too much.

After a round of drinks, Xu Tingsheng looked for the official in charge of publicity for the county and told him how the university reporter squad wanted to report on the local culture here.

“Boss Xu, just say what you need us to do, and we’ll definitely achieve it two hundred percent.”

“Thank you, Minister Zhang. Actually, we don’t need much. We mainly hope that the government can send two deputies who are familiar with the situation to help to guide and coordinate affairs. Of course, we need to ensure their safety too. There are quite a few girls in our reporter squad.”

“Next, there’s no need to dispatch vehicles. They can just follow ours. We’ll go to a housecar.”

Considering that there were several girls in the student reporter squad and some toilets in villages could be a bit inconvenient, Xu Tingsheng decided to send a housecar to this time’s interview with them.

Hearing about his arrangements not far away and considering it a little, the girls were already beginning to clutch their chests, enthralled-so, Xu Tingsheng who did not like talking with them was actually so thoughtful and meticulous.

“No problem,” The other party agreed easily.

“That’s good then. So, Iet me introduce Minister Jiang to the students of the reporter squad,” Xu Tingsheng gestured towards that area and soon saw two girls and one guy standing up and walking over.

The guy was naturally their leader, Xiao Yanxu. Xu Tingsheng felt on tenterhooks when he saw him, fearing that he might suddenly say something ‘heaven-shocking and earth-shaking’ again.

In the end, it went okay. While Xiao Yanxu was rather aloof this time, he still acted relatively decently. From Xu Tingsheng’s perspective, he should really be burning incense and offering prayers since this fellow with vinegar in his brain had not done anything to mess things up.

Actually, Xiao Yanxu himself felt vexed as well. He was currently in a vicious cycle where whatever he did was wrong, and whatever was wrong he did. He would always regret it after saying something, yet still saying it again a while later...repeatedly being rash and losing control.

At the end of the day, it was not a problem with his personality. It was just because everything had really been too smooth for him in the past as he was too used to being admired and praised. Now that he had suddenly met with a setback, he was plunged into chaos.

He had quietly worked at it for two years, believing that there should be a high chance of getting Wu Yuewei if he confessed to her just before graduation when he would still be remaining at the university. Moreover, he was so outstanding…

In the end, someone had sprung up, and this person had to be called Xu Tingsheng...had to be the only one Wu Yuewei had called senior for the past eight years.

Xiao Yanxu wanted too much to prove that he was more outstanding than Xu Tingsheng. Still, besides having gotten into a better university...comparing achievements? Was leader of the reporter squad a match for Hucheng’s founder or CEO of Xingchen Technologies?

Comparing money? Nope.

Comparing talent, using Qingbei to suppress entrepreneurial genius?

The final method Xiao Yanxu had thought of was comparing character. He felt that this should be Xu Tingsheng’s weakness, and Wu Yuewei should be aware that he had a problem in that area too.

It was precisely because of this that Xiao Yanxu had borrowed the scumbag topic on the bus and gotten his lackey to mock Xu Tingsheng. It was why he had acted righteous and fearless during the extortion incident too.

He hoped that Wu Yuewei would see it and admire it.

Still, all this seemed like punching cotton and fruitless effort...from everybody’s reactions, his actions only seemed to further accentuate the young legend’s greatness in opposition to him.

Now, it was not just Wu Yuewei. Even the experts, the other girls on the reporter team and the research assistants of the experts were starting to be won over by Xu Tingsheng’s intelligence and maturity which had originally been hidden beneath his wealth, looks and achievements.

It seemed as if there was nothing he could not do as it felt too much like they could trust and depend on him. From the standpoint of a young girl, his boyfriend meter was through the roof.

He was aloof and interesting while also intermittently warm and thoughtful...this sort of contrast was ‘deadly’ in terms of allure towards girls.

Xiao Yanxu decided to cool off for a bit.

After the official matters were over, Xiao Yanxu left. Still, the other two girls from the reporter squad stayed behind, saying that they wanted to toast him to show their gratitude for his care.

Xu Tingsheng had no choice but to pour some red wine and drink with them.

Following that, other girls came over to toast him as well. Some girls with relevant degrees took the initiative to ask him about Xingchen’s hiring.

After chatting for a bit, Xu Tingsheng suddenly found that Young Master Zhao was standing there too.

“I understand,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “If Young Master Zhao is interested in the interviewing work and can obtain permission from your teacher, you’re welcome to go together...after all, you’re rather more familiar with this place.”

Young Master Zhao was over the moon as he excitedly said yes repeatedly.

This fellow was actually pretty cute. There are actually many of this kind around, those who really want to chase a girl yet never know what they should do, always overdo it and always make a fool of themselves.

They are actually generally good people.

Following that.

It was generally those from the local government raising their wineglasses, wanting to talk about investment with Xu Tingsheng, who...only talked to them about ancient mausoleums.

Since the boss was so interested in this, the officials thought that they should accommodate his tastes and try to please him. Thus, some eloquent officials began to talk about some local tomb raiding legends.

Rather than archaeology, tomb-raiding was always a more invigorating topic. The students quickly grew excited. At this point in time, Ghost Blows Out The Light had already been ongoing for some time and Grave Robbers’ Chronicles had already started too.

As they went deeper into the story, the students began to discuss:

“Wonder if there are any dumplings inside?! What should I do if Cao Cao starts hopping towards me?”

“Do we have to prepare some black donkeys’ hooves to ward off vampires?”

“Should the professors light candles when they enter the mausoleum? Should they retreat when the candlelight is extinguished?”

“...”

……

After dinner, feeling slightly tipsy.

Yan Zhengyu called Xu Tingsheng at the entrance of the hotel, getting him to accompany him to the location to walk around.

The two travelled there by car.

The mausoleum at night was bleak and tranquil.

“However heroic your lifetime, even if your feats are recounted for millennia...you are still not going to escape becoming a mound of yellow soil!” His hands behind his back, Yan Zhengyu said emotionally.

Xu Tingsheng saw that he was moved, seeing resolve, hope and yearning in his eyes...he had been enamoured with history throughout his life, having been renowned at one point in time. In the end, he had been abandoned, been isolated. And now, he could finally do his favourite work again.

“Maybe there are things that teacher cannot see past too, such as name, or perhaps just for an upright reputation.”

Yet, Xu Tingsheng knew of the situation in Cao Cao’s mausoleum in his previous life. Its entire excavation had been accompanied by countless disappointment and mockery...people really had overly high expectations of Cao Cao’s mausoleum. Yet, what they had discovered was really too little, too light, too lacking an impact.

At the same time, while the government had confirmed that it was Cao Cao’s mausoleum, be it amongst the academic world or the public, this was actually a topic filled with contention-there was really too little evidence, too little persuasive power.

Just a few items like some halberds and shields commonly used by Emperor Weiwu, a stone tablet whose words even had much room to be interpreted-what could be confirmed from that?

When Xu Tingsheng had written that paper in order to pave his way for his educational training institute back then, the reason he had chosen it was not that Cao Cao’s mausoleum contained more buried artifacts and had clearer evidence. He had actually chosen it because it was filled with contention-because of that, he who did not have a degree in history would not appear too conspicuous and contentious as the one who had discovered it.

Still, it was not like this to Yan Zhengyu.

While this time’s expert team was powerful and numbered many, it was actually just like in dramas or opening credits in a movie. At the start, everyone would just drop by to show their faces. Still, when it came to their actual shooting process, they would mostly just be passing by, the main characters asides.

It was not all the experts who would be staying to work on this project for the long term. They still had their own work and research to do. They would just take turns and come once in a while.

The ones really in charge of the excavation were Yan Zhengyu and another Professor Ma.

What was eventually discovered and the corresponding verdict were too important to him.

Xu Tingsheng was a bit worried: Maybe I can only place my hopes in how excavation has begun two years earlier than in my previous life, with another two years of protection done...maybe some of the most important evidence and discoveries were stolen over these two years?

In his previous life, when the archaeologists had finally found and opened the door of Cao Cao’s mausoleum...they had found so many mineral water bottles lying there, left behind by the tomb raiders.

Therefore, one could make the bold speculation that the most valuable artifacts in Cao Cao’s mausoleum had actually long since landed in the hands of the tomb raiders, their identities, their whereabouts unknown…

“So, will these things still be in there this time? Or will only a portion remain just like before?” Xu Tingsheng could only hope that the situation was like that, that an artifact that was valuable and with enough shock value still remained in the mausoleum before him.

“If they dig out a national treasure, I can be considered as having contributed a bit to the country in this rebirth, right?”

As Xu Tingsheng was thinking about many things.

Yan Zhengyu was already walking quietly to the exterior of the mausoleum.

“What is it, teacher?” Xu Tingsheng hurriedly caught up to him and asked softly.

“It’s nothing. It’s just that I’m suddenly a bit not used to it. I clearly should be very used to it. I’ve done it for a lifetime, after all.”

Yan Zhengyu crouched down slowly as he said this. He pushed his hands at the ground at the entrance of the cave for a while, slowly bringing up a handful of yellow soil which he sniffed…

“The last time I scooped up a handful of mausoleum soil to smell, my wife was still alive. She complained that my clothes were full of mud.”

These words could not be any normaler.

Still, Xu Tingsheng could clearly feel an immense, firm sorrow surge from the silence of the surrounding night, tightly enveloping the skinny figure of this old man before him.

Xu Tingsheng knew that Yan Zhengyu’s wife had died when his son’s business had gone bankrupt and he had been saddled with debt. She had already been very sick and bedridden at the time that she received her son’s call one day.

On the phone, her son begrudged that his birth was not good, with a father who only knew about academic research, being of no help to his life and career whatsoever…

He said that he already had no way out and was standing on the rooftop…

Madam Yan had suffered a huge blow, thereon meeting her demise.

After burying his wife, Yan Zhengyu had begun to fulfil her final wishes, exerting all and any means to repay his son’s debt.

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