Chapter 677: Reverse direction
For her initial period of time post-rebirth, when Zhou Yuandai was still feeling fearful and shocked and had no one to rely on, she spent her time in the Lu family.
Just as Cen Xishan’s two lives, containing persistence and letting down, containing kindness and also brutality, could not simply define him as a good or bad person, Lu Zhixin’s father, Lu Pingyuan, could not be simply categorised either way as well. The sole thing that could not be denied was that Lu Pingyuan had deeply loved his wife and his daughter at the time.
The Lu family had been doing average at the time. Lu Pingyuan had been running a watch repair shop at the entrance of some electrical city. While they could not strike it rich, they would also not go hungry.
If not for the sudden ‘change’ to his wife, his entire life might have been like this, simple and uneventful.
Lu Zhixin who had still been young at the time might not also have become the one and only Lu Zhixin that Xu Tingsheng later spoke of. She would be a smart and beautiful girl, but merely that.
Still, Zhou Yuandai changed everything.
In less than a year, based on Zhou Yuandai’s foreknowledge and experience in business from her previous life, the Lu family quickly went from running a watch repair shop to simultaneously owning a few electrical cities, dabbling in other industries as well.
The family that had suddenly risen to great wealth in Jianan was admired and envied by many.
Yet, what followed was Lu Zhixin’s mother who had suddenly become a genius becoming increasingly and incomprehensibly estranged, cold and even disdainful towards the family.
Lu Pingyuan could tolerate her refusing to sleep in the same room as him, because he knew that she had really tired herself out for the family’s sake. Still, when she returned from a business trip one day and coldly, even disgustedly pushed down Lu Zhixin who was running happily into her mother’s embrace, the cracks in this family could finally no longer be concealed.
What would come would inevitably come.
She had finally left decisively, leaving behind a few electrical cities and a dazed, bewildered father and daughter.
Even now, Lu Pingyuan could still not understand why his once gentle, virtuous, loyal and traditional wife had suddenly become like another person, why she could so calmly and brutally abandon him and their daughter.
Lu Zhixin had thereon become a child without a mother.
Lu Pingyuan who should actually give more care and concern to his daughter entered a vicious cycle, no longer able to leave it. He wanted his wife who had suddenly left the family to regret it, to admit that she had been wrong, to go home...thus, he sought to make her lose everything for her to realise this.
In order to defeat his former wife and prove his capabilities, Lu Pingyuan had exerted all means.
In the preparatory phase of his revenge, with those electrical cities as the foundation for his capital, he had frenetically expanded his wealth in the early nineties at points of opportunity where even pigs could fly.
Afterwards, he had begun looking for an opportunity and means with which to take revenge.
During this phase, Lu Pingyuan could still find out some information regarding his former wife through various channels. For instance, he knew that she was investing in shares which were only just rising to prominence and super popular at this time. She had also quickly established her own shares company in Hong Kong.
In the long days ahead, attacking this shares company became Lu Pingyuan’s sole, stubborn desire.
He virtually lost all that he had time and time again, made a comeback time and time again, forgetting that he still had a family, that he still had a young daughter who needed his care and protection. He even gradually came to forget why he was doing all of this in the first place, not knowing if doing so really still meant anything…
One might say that he had actually already gone crazy.
What the mad Lu Pingyuan did not know was just how great the financial disparity between him and his ‘wife’ already was...the fund that he dreamed of defeating day and night was, in Zhou Yuandai’s eyes, a place where she had actually already long since ceased to attend board discussions, this simply being of little significance.
Having left the Lu family, Zhou Yuandai had been accumulating her wealth at breakneck speed.
Still, she was more cautious than Xu Tingsheng.
Because of the existence of the other her, Zhou Yuandai had been worried that changing the world might lead to the perishing of her consciousness. Thus, she would never expand outwards in accumulating her wealth. In other words, she did not start businesses.
In her early days, she only earnt from the financial market.
Afterwards, she began investing in businesses, in businesses which she knew from her previous life would succeed. Also, she did it by looking for talents and giving them financial support and guidance regarding how they should proceed...afterwards, she would not intervene so much in their work.
One of these people who managed things on her behalf, Sun Zhengyi, was later known by the outside world as the CEO of Ruanjin Corporation.
In this process, Zhou Yuandai encountered a crisis of life and death.
This had affected her greatly. And so, like she had told Xu Tingsheng earlier, she had changed her way of thinking and development strategy-she had begun to establish her own organisation, her own ‘divine kingdom’.
She had started her cult in Japan. With the help of her foreknowledge, Zhou Yuandai had quickly amassed a vast number of believers.
Afterwards, her cult had begun expanding into Southeast Asia, even Europe and America.
Wealth, authority, power and absolute control...foolish fanatics, staunch believers, from legal to underworld forces, from the lowest to the highest level...the power Zhou Yuandai possessed might be enough to shake a small country.
Aside from that, she even provided financial assistance to quite a few independent mercenary organisations every year, establishing a cooperative relationship. Through this, she raised her own forces.
To be honest, Xu Tingsheng would never stand any chance at all against Zhou Yuandai at her peak no matter how he schemed.
Fortunately, the current Zhou Yuandai was but a shade of her former self. In the four years since having lost her foreknowledge, Zhou Yuandai had fallen even quicker than she had risen.
Zhou Yuandai had really taken herself to be a god over the past decade. Thus, when the period of her foreknowledge had expired, her panic and helplessness were so severe even Xu Tingsheng who had also been reborn would not be able to imagine it.
She could actually just do nothing at all at this stage, simply relaxing her authority and reducing her intervention. Her wealth, talented people and power were sufficient to guarantee a positive cycle and normal development for everything she owned.
Still, she was already unable to step out of it.
Her self-confidence collapsing, her fear skyrocketing...she had to work hard to prove that she was still a god! She had thought that she was trying to prove it to others. In fact, though, she was just proving it to herself.
And so, in such an incomparably panicked state, Zhou Yuandai had lost her earlier composure and surety, beginning to frequently do several self-destructive things one after another…
Also, she was very persistent on them and would not listen to any opinions...because to her, if she listened, it would be equivalent to acknowledging mortals doubting a god...and such a thing was definitely not allowed.
During this period of collapse, she discovered Xu Tingsheng and took him as a life-saving straw to clutch at.
Of course, Zhou Yuandai was not foolish enough to tell all this to Xu Tingsheng.
The two talked more about the specifics of their post-rebirth life rather than their careers. This tacit understanding was not because career was not important, but because this was the true main point. It was the reason the two were sitting here face-to-face. It was impossible for the deeper nuances of all this to be easily found out in a short exchange.
More than one year after her rebirth, Zhou Yuandai had gone to Libei and seen another her.
At that time, the young music teacher Zhou Yuandai had just fallen in love with Cen Xishan like in her previous life.
“I thought about it for a long time. In order to avoid any accidents, I decided to have her stay on as a teacher there all the way till 2003,” Zhou Yuandai spoke of her previous decision which had led to the previously non-existent interactions between her and Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng pondered on it and said, “So, afraid that she would repeat the same act, you took Cen Xishan away again in this life?”
“That’s right, but also not right. I took Cen Xishan away and gave him to her,” Zhou Yuandai smiled and said, “I already no longer liked that man. Still, be it a sense of vengeance or whatnot, I still enjoyed controlling him, torturing him. I wanted to kill him at first, kill that mother and daughter too...still, I gradually discovered that controlling him like this, torturing them and observing their agony was more interesting, and could better vent my unhappiness too.”
“Cen Xishan could receive photos, text, even videos about that mother and daughter at regular intervals, looking at them going everywhere to find him, looking at them living in a building where the rain leaked in, looking at his wife being harassed, looking at his daughter being stripped and beaten up, eventually hanging out with hooligans…”
“I never thought that that daughter of his would eventually be so close with you.”
“In the last two years, I gradually tired of that game. For the sake of better observing you too, I let him be a bit more free, also allowing him to have some interactions with that daughter of his. You can take this as part of my goodwill towards you.”
“...” Xu Tingsheng did not want to understand this anymore as he asked, “So, that Miss Zhou, that you, she didn’t resist at all, fully accepting your control?”
“Yes, because I understood her too well. No one understood her better than me. So, this was very easy,” Zhou Yuandai’s expression was as if she was truly speaking of someone else.
“Just a Cen Xishan was enough at the start,” Zhou Yuandai continued, “In this life, I did not sleep with Cen Xishan. I wouldn’t like it, and my body post-surgery also wouldn’t allow it.”
“Cen Xishan has always thought that the person threatening and controlling him was that young music teacher who appeared ordinary and harmless at the start. The only exception was...when on the bed, he would have to serve her like a dog.”
Xu Tingsheng thought to himself that it was no wonder that Cen Xishan had never mentioned Zhou Yuandai’s change in appearance over the past ten years. He did not know of it at all.
“I came to learn something from her. Can you guess what it is?” Zhou Yuandai suddenly asked.
“Boredom,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Right, from her, I came to learn that if Cen Xishan had really accepted me in my previous life, I instead might not have been like that, being foolishly stubborn,” Zhou Yuandai ascertained and continued, “Slowly, she grew bored of her days with only Cen Xishan. So, I would also find her some male celebrities that she liked and whatnot. While threatening her, I also enticed her with wealth and power.”
“This sort of ignorant, foolish woman was really easy to control...she even happily followed my arrangements, full of yearning and gratitude, finding delight in it.”
“In the day, she was a teacher at school. At night, she was queen on her bed. During the holidays, she was the model for my full-body plastic surgery...all the way till I appeared before her with exactly the same features, telling her the truth and pushing her off the roof.”
Xu Tingsheng inhaled deeply, suppressing his fear and nausea, “Why then could you interact that normally with Ms Fang afterwards?”
“All those years, everything she said to everyone, what she thought about people and affairs, she would write them down, handing this up to me to see. Hence, I would have absolutely no problems whatsoever interacting with that Fang Yunyao or any other teachers.”
“In other words, I could start leading a normal life with her identity at any time,” Zhou Yuandai concluded.
“A normal life. In that case, your...her...parents, what about them?” Xu Tingsheng attempted to ask.
“In my previous life, they already cut off all ties with me. I feel very regretful that I cannot take revenge on them…” Zhou Yuandai smiled darkly, “Still, it also feels pretty good, seeing them leading so difficult lives.”
Xu Tingsheng decided to end this conversation. In his two lives, he had seen good people and bad people, most people easily falling into neither category...still, never had there been a person who gave him the sort of feeling Zhou Yuandai did.
This was someone who virtually operated in the reverse direction from him in all aspects.Previous Chapter Next Chapter