Chapter 673: Love separated by mountains and seas (3)
“You’re back!” An excited tone.
“You’re back?” A normal tone.
“You’re back?” Acting spoilt.
“You’re back…” Acting wronged.
Xiang Ning practiced each type a few types.
“No, no, I simply shouldn’t speak,” Miss Xiang lay down on the sofa, reaching out and stuffing a handful of tidbits in her mouth as she discussed with herself, “How about I pretend to be asleep. When he carries me up, I’ll pretend to have just woken up, hugging him, looking at him…”
“How about interrogating him then?”
“Should we first make up or should I ask him first?”
“But he seems to be suffering a lot. How about I coax him first? When he carries me up, and I’m pretending to be sleeping...kiss him directly? ...No, that would be too good a deal for him…”
Xiang Ning made battle plans one after another.
Xu Tingsheng did not chat with Old Wai for too long. Midway through, Huang Yaming called and asked him to come over.
The two sat in the car, smoking as they chatted…
Xu Tingsheng thought at first that Huang Yaming was showing him concern after having heard about what had happened at his graduation party. In the end, this bastard was actually looking for him to chat about his own matters.
Fortunately, Li Linlin soon sent a message, saying that Xiang Ning had already arrived safely.
Xu Tingsheng naturally believed that Li Linlin was saying that Xiang Ning had already reached her house. Asking about how she was feeling and hearing that she was feeling much better, he was able to set his mind at ease for now.
“Should I go to Bingzhou or Shenghai after graduation?” Huang Yaming asked for Xu Tingsheng’s opinion, “Anyway, I’m not staying in Yanzhou. This place is really too small...also, I’ve already made arrangements for the management for Bright Brilliance over here.”
Xu Tingsheng had actually already long since made arrangements as he opened his backpack, retrieving a document and placing it in Huang Yaming’s hands, “Go to Shenghai.”
“Okay. What’s this?” Huang Yaming took the document and looked at it, “Why are you transferring your shares in Tianyi to me?”
“To make it convenient for you to help me do stuff. I don’t have any time to pay attention to things there for the time being,” Having long since been prepared, Xu Tingsheng answered in a natural tone.
“But you don’t have to transfer it to me, right? Anyway, who at Tianyi doesn’t know that I am representing you?”
“That doesn’t mean I can’t transfer it to you, right?” Xu Tingsheng was worried that Huang Yaming might be able to tell that he was making arrangements in case he was ‘eliminated’.
He pretended to be angry, asking, “Have we grown further apart or something? You weren’t like this before!”
Huang Yaming looked at him, smiling as he kept the document and said similarly ‘angrily’, “What are you being so full of yourself for? Can’t I feign a little?! You should have left it to me to handle things there long ago.”
After saying so, he secretly observed Xu Tingsheng’s expression and the look in his eyes.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
His hands behind his head, Huang Yaming sighed deeply as he leaned against the back of the seat, “It’s nothing.”
While Huang Yaming did not know if others might be able to tell...he had actually already long since sensed that Xu Tingsheng was facing some difficulties.
Still, the problem was similarly there. He understood Xu Tingsheng too well. Xu Tingsheng was used to making compromises and taking steps back. Still, if he made a decision on something and would not even talk about it, that entailed that it was already impossible to change things.
“There’s something else I’d like to tell you, laughable though it may seem,” Huang Yaming changed the topic and hesitated for a time, “I won’t be bringing Han Xiu and her mother to Shenghai with me.”
“I must say, it’s pretty weak of me. Two reasons. First, I’ve discovered that to completely treat a person like a piece of blank paper, forging them to one’s desire, is actually impossible. As Han Xiu has contact with more and more things right now, she strays further and further from what I originally thought...it’s not that she’s turned bad. It’s merely that it is actually impossible in reality to truly intentionally forge the perfect lover in one’s eyes.”
“I agree,” Xu Tingsheng nodded.
Actually, Xiang Ning in this life was the same as well. She had not been forged by Xu Tingsheng as even though he had met her earlier and brought so many changes to her life, her most intrinsic qualities were still growing naturally.
“The second reason,” Huang Yaming smiled and said, “I feel that’s unfair towards her. Just like a potted plant grown by someone. You use a rope to tie the branches, letting it grow the way you wish it to...she’s a living person, not a potted plant.”
“Not bad,” Xu Tingsheng asked, “How do you intend to deal with mother and daughter then?”
“It’s still the same. I should take care of them. I got a job for her mother from my friend. As for Han Xiu, she can stay at the training institute...anyway, I’ll let them lead lives which are as normal as possible. After Han Xiu has grown naturally for a few years, if she still likes me then and I like her too, it would be good. Still, if that is not the case, it’s not difficult to accept too.”
Xu Tingsheng pondered on these words that were so not Huang Yaming’s style and asked casually, “Why are you suddenly thinking this?”
Both of them understood each other too well. Xu Tingsheng knew that Huang Yaming would not have the leisure to think about this stuff if he had not been set off by something.
Huang Yaming hesitated for a bit before smiling as he said, “One day, I drove past your house. Thinking that I had nothing to do anyway, I went up to look for you. In the end, I knocked on the door and you weren’t there...there was only that female bodyguard, Bro Du’s younger sister, Du Jin...as it was hot, I drank a cup of water there, and…”
“And…” Thinking of Du Jin’s habitual coolness and neutral manner in front of him, Xu Tingsheng cut Huang Yaming off with a rather exaggerated expression on his face.
“Scram! Can you not think of me like that...even if I had any designs on her, I’d have to be able to beat her in a fight first!” Huang Yaming rebuked before continuing, “Bro Du and his sister were very poor when young. Du Jin was sick and they didn’t have any money to cure her...she was taken away and adopted by someone who was willing to pay money to cure her illness.”
“So it was like that,” Xu Tingsheng said, “No wonder Bro Du was fistfighting, in gangs and in prison in his youth whereas his younger sister went overseas to receive professional training.”
Huang Yaming nodded, “Du Jin was trained according to a planned model. Before arriving at your house, she’s never ever lived a normal life. Have you noticed that she never wears short sleeves even in summer? ...Her arms are full of knife scars. They aren’t injuries after becoming a bodyguard. They are her punishments for going against rules since young.”
Huang Yaming glanced at Xu Tingsheng, “After chatting with her that day, I went home. Han Xiu just so happened to ask me very timidly then if she could not attend propriety lessons that day. I thought of what Du Jin had said right away. Am I treating Han Xiu like the person who raised Du Jin? So…”
Xu Tingsheng nodded.
He was not puzzled as to why the habitually cool Du Jin had told Huang Yaming so much...in some way, Huang Yaming was definitely the kind of person Du Jin was more used to and admired, finding it easier to strike up a conversation with.
The two chatted for a while more.
“Where will you return to?” Huang Yaming asked.
“Let me off by the roadside. I’m staying at home tonight,” Xu Tingsheng said.
What Xiang Ning had said to Li Linlin earlier was right. Having seen Xiang Ning tonight, even if Xiang Ning wasn’t there, Xu Tingsheng would still think of returning to the home where the two had once lived together, staying at a place which breathed of her.
“It’s ten thirty.”
“I’m nearly falling asleep.”
“Why isn’t he back yet?”
“Could something have happened, and he’s not coming back to stay?”
Having exhausted herself from crying earlier, Miss Xiang was already so tired she did not know how to be nervous. Still, Xu Tingsheng had not yet returned home to stay as she had expected.
Clutching her phone, Xiang Ning hesitated over whether to text him.
She did not know that Xu Tingsheng was actually downstairs right now.
After separating from Huang Yaming, Xu Tingsheng had strolled back to relax. Entering through the entrance of the small district and arriving downstairs, he casually looked up and found the lights of the house on.
“Looks like Du Jin is in.”
Over this period of time, it was inconvenient for Du Jin to go to the Xiang family home. She was still in Yanzhou, however. She would follow Xiang Ning when she was heading to and returning from school, ensuring her safety.
Without Xiang Ning around, thinking that it was inconvenient for him and Du Jin to sometimes stay there together as a lone man and lone woman, he continued renting the flat from before Fu Cheng had moved to Ning Garden, letting her stay there.
She had the keys from both sides. Besides sleeping, she basically did as she liked.
He took two more steps forward.
Xu Tingsheng head suddenly spun as he felt goosebumps rise across his entire body…
That lighted up room upstairs was his. Du Jin would never enter his room and the study. After Xiang Ning had left, Xu Tingsheng had carefully observed and tested it out a few times, being certain of this.
“So...could it be that Xiang Ning has returned?”
Even Xu Tingsheng’s breathing turned chaotic as his heart beat rapidly…
The light had indeed been turned on when Xiang Ning had looked at his room earlier.
Miss Xiang whom Xu Tingsheng so missed had returned...this entailed a lot...because she had returned to their home.
After adjusting his emotions, wondering if Xiang Ning might be scared alone, Xu Tingsheng headed for the stairwell.
“Congratulations on your graduation.”
A voice resounded behind him.
It was Zhou Yuandai.
Besides her, there were still five others, four men and one woman, standing there.
“Miss Zhou…” Xu Tingsheng looked at her, “You…”
“In April, America’s second largest housing loan company, New Century, went bankrupt. So, you were plotting against me? I let that slide...tolerating it till you graduated. Yet what are you doing?...”
Zhou Yuandai’s expression gradually turned rather distorted and wretched.
“I have already grown tired of your childish actions and constant provocations.”
“So, now...you play by my rules.”
Xu Tingsheng had been well aware that Zhou Yuandai would do this sooner or later. He had not gathered many bodyguards by his side as a result...that would be useless. Cen Xishan had already described Zhou Yuandai to Xu Tingsheng sufficiently specifically.
While the difference in wealth and power between Xu Tingsheng and her was large, the actual greatest difference between them was that Xu Tingsheng had so many people whom he cared about and cherished whereas...Zhou Yuandai had none. She only cared about herself.
Right now, were it another point in time, Xu Tingsheng would straightforwardly leave with her.
Still, tonight, right now, that light upstairs...
“There is no other choice available to you.”
Seeing Xu Tingsheng hesitate, Zhou Yuandai waved a hand.
A man behind her opened a laptop, showing Xu Tingsheng the images on the screen.
The split images seemed to be scenes from the scope of sniper rifles. A ‘十’ crosshair, the dot falling on the sofa, aimed at the temple of Xiang Ning who was clutching her phone and muttering who knew what from what seemed to be the rooftop of another building…
Virtually the same image, with that dot…
Falling on Fu Cheng who was far away in Shenghai.
Falling on Song Ni in Jiannan.
Falling on Fang Yuqing in Suzhou.
Shifting between Niannian and Fang Yunyao.
Gliding along the bed in Mr and Mrs Xiang’s bedroom.
There was none at school, none in Qingbei, none on Apple, none on Lu Zhixin...there was one at his house in Libei, just that there was no one in the sights, just the view outside the house…
“Let’s talk,” Zhou Yuandai said.
Xu Tingsheng got in the car with them.
His handphone vibrated. The sound of bees humming was especially clear inside the car…
“Look at it. No replying, though,” Zhou Yuandai said with a dark smile.
Xu Tingsheng took out his phone.
‘Are you coming home soon?’ A text, sent by: Miss Xiang.
Xiang Ning had ultimately been unable to stop herself from sending over a text.
After a while, another text came in: I’m at home. Big Sis Du Jin isn’t here. I’m a bit scared alone.
More than ten minutes later, another text came in: Are you angry with me? Come back! Let’s talk properly, and I’ll think of a way to forgive you!”
“What’s with you? Do you not want me anymore?”
“If you don’t reply, it means you don’t want me anymore.”
“I’ve even come home myself. What’re you doing, Xu Tingsheng.”
As the car left the vicinity of Yanzhou.
The text notifications became incoming calls, one after another…
Zhou Yuandai laughed savagely, looking provocatively at Xu Tingsheng.
At that moment, Xu Tingsheng had been so close to Xiang Ning, just a mere few storeys away…
Yet, he knew that it was very likely that it might be the closest distance between the two. Thereon, in the days ahead, would be...love separated by mountains and rivers.
“You aren’t answering my calls.”
“I hate you. Big liar.”
“Coaxing me back then not wanting me.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m not breaking up.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Couldn't help but get this out early. Going to the final act.