Chapter 679: August
Something that Xu Tingsheng would never be able to get Zhou Yuandai to understand was:
It was precisely because of these people and their success, happiness, fulfilment or growth in this life...that there was greater meaning in his rebirth. So, how could he possibly be jealous of them living happily and stably? How could he have the heart to drag them into this maelstrom where they would be completely helpless to resist?
He and Zhou Yuandai operated in two completely opposite directions.
The American Federal Reserve reacted in accordance to the current economic situation, forcefully intervening and increasing market confidence. The stock market was maintained, trade flourishing...it seemed that the situation was in the midst of being reversed. Trust in Wall Street began to soar once more.
“Let me see that namelist,” Zhou Yuandai said from opposite Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng took out that namelist which was already all soft and wrinkly from him looking at it, placing it quietly on the table.
“Not bad. I really hope that you can always be like this…” Zhou Yuandai waved the namelist, the marks on it conveying to her how much Xu Tingsheng cared for these people, “I will raise my chips. I’ve always thought that crises are the greatest opportunity for us with foreknowledge. My assets tripled during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. This time...I hope you won’t disappoint me...I hope you understand the consequence of disappointing me.”
It was actually difficult to tell if she was speaking honestly or not.
Still, Xu Tingsheng judged that he could believe it at least seventy percent. The current Zhou Yuandai was in too great a rush, too great a rush to prove herself, desperately wishing to experience the power of foreknowledge once again as she was immersed in her past glory...meanwhile, she was also very worried about Xu Tingsheng’s foreknowledge expiring.
“You don’t look too affected by it,” Zhou Yuandai said as she looked at Xu Tingsheng.
“You have had foreknowledge too. When you have long since known how something is going to end, you won’t be overly moved by it,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“That’s true. Has it been a bit boring? It’s time to leave. We’re going to America to stand with Wall Street, reaping the ‘wool’ from all over the world. I’ll allow you to apply to go outside then. Still, you must have someone accompanying you. You can call your family during festivals and the New Year too. Similarly, you must be accompanied then. Right, do you lack women? Of the women in charge of looking after you, you can take pleasure in any of them. If any of them get pregnant, I’ll arrange to get it dealt with for you...or if you like any female celebrities or whatnot, I’ll get someone to take a look at things. If it is convenient, I’ll definitely bring them over for you.”
Zhou Yuandai laughed mockingly, “How very devoted! Do you really not need me to help bring that young lady over? How about that Wu Yuewei? I have an impression of her. She was there in the daily reports and I even gave her a lesson before. That young lady’s very good...and I guess that even if I get people to tell her that you’re in hell, she would still be willing to come.”
Xu Tingsheng did not speak.
“Could it be that you want the tempting creature in Paris? The one you want to have a child with. I heard that her body’s already recovered very well…” Zhou Yuandai tried to discern something from Xu Tingsheng’s eyes, continuing, “The woman’s really...beautiful to the point that the first time I saw her, I really wanted to ruin her!”
“After 2009,” Xu Tingsheng interrupted her, “After 2009, let me go back to living my life…”
This was Xu Tingsheng’s first time expressing his thoughts regarding the future.
Zhou Yuandai was taken aback as she said, “That’ll have to depend on your performance.”
Actually, Xu Tingsheng knew full well that after 2009, first not speaking of whether Zhou Yuandai might believe that his foreknowledge was limited to this, even if she did, the panic from losing foreknowledge once again and her desire for someone of the same kind...would make it such that she would continue to control Xu Tingsheng all the same.
He was only saying this to try to amass Zhou Yuandai’s sense of urgency, causing her to feel panicked and be unable to stop herself from throwing more chips onto the table again and again.
At the same time, August, Paris.
Li Wan’er’s body had already been recovering for a while. You Qinglan still did not go to work as she accompanied her.
“I want to go look for him,” Li Wan’er said this for perhaps the hundredth time.
“Not again! How many times have I told you? Since he’s like this, it means that he simply isn’t willing to contact you. It’s also been hard for you to get through this. What meaning is there in looking for him now?”
You Qinglan pretended to be genuinely worked up for Li Wan’er’s sake. She actually knew of Xu Tingsheng’s disappearance. Xiang Ning had called her, enquiring about his whereabouts.
At one point in time, the girl had wondered if Xu Tingsheng had departed because he had ultimately still chosen the woman whom he had agreed to have a child with.
Xiang Ning had even asked to meet Li Wan’er.
You Qinglan had fended off all the questions and pacified Xiang Ning while keeping everything from Li Wan’er.
In truth, You Qinglan might be the one who currently understood the most about the situation. She was the only one who had been tangibly threatened, seen the guns following her and Li Wan’er that simply could not be avoided.
Therefore, she was even able to basically guess what had happened to Xu Tingsheng.
It was just that she dared not tell this to anyone. She only wanted to get Li Wan’er to calm down now so that she would be safe...it was best if she completely broke free of everything related to Xu Tingsheng.
The thin Li Wan’er was sitting on the sofa, looking out of the window.
“I just want to know why he’s treating me like this...even if he was only lying to me at the time for me to do the surgery properly, I can understand it. I’m grateful too...even if he’s gone back on his word, I can accept it…but why is he like this, not saying a word, not replying to texts or answering calls…”
“I just want to meet him again, even if it is just to thank him in person before saying farewell.”
“I just want to...hear him say in person once more that Xu Tingsheng and Li Wan’er are even. I really feel grateful to him...so, if my not disturbing him will make him happy, I will definitely do it this time.”
“Still, he’s got to tell me...otherwise, I can’t stop myself from fantasising, afraid that he’s actually held back by something, thinking that he actually...does still care about me, even if it’s just a bit.”
You Qinglan had actually already heard these same words countless times. She had also tried countless times and knew that she couldn’t persuade her. She could only listen...while being mentally prepared to listen a couple more times.
In the end, You Qinglan woke up to find Li Wan’er gone the next morning.
After her initial panic, she quickly guessed where Li Wan’er had gone. After chasing her from Paris to China and then to Yanzhou, Li Wan’er finally picked up her call. The reason was that she did not know how to continue looking for Xu Tingsheng.
“Come, go back with me,” As the two met at the agreed street, You Qinglan said this at once as she pulled Li Wan’er away.
“I’m not leaving. I’ll see him. I won’t say anything. I’ll return as soon as I see him, alright?” Li Wan’er was like a little girl as she petulantly hugged a Chinese parasol tree by the roadside, “Can you help me to look for him?”
Pulling Li Wan’er with one hand, You Qinglan stopped and panted helplessly, saying, “He’s not in Yanzhou.”
“Where is he then? You know, don’t you? Can you bring me to him?”
“I don’t know.”
“In that case, how can you be so sure that he’s not in Yanzhou? Forget it, if you really aren’t willing to help me, I’ll look for him myself...I’ve already recovered now...I can take care of myself too...you don’t have to worry about me...you should go to work. I’ve already held you back for long enough.”
Li Wan’er deliberately tried to anger You Qinglan with this. Then, she rose, wrenching her hand free of You Qinglan’s grasp. She turned and walked off in a huff.
You Qinglan caught up with her from behind, grabbing her arm.
“Don’t pull me! I’ve already said I don’t need you to care about me!” Li Wan’er shouted loudly.
“You don’t need me to care about you? When you were sick, as you recovered, it was me who accompanied you...why can’t I care about you?” You Qinglan rebutted just as loudly.
The two ultra beauties began arguing on the streets of Yanzhou like little girls just like that.
“I…” Li Wan’er was a bit inarticulate, “I don’t care. Anyway, I’m definitely going to look for him.”
“Li Wan’er, can you be a bit more mature?”
“No. I’m silly. He said it long ago.”
“I’m afraid that you’ll die!”
“You don’t need to care about me even if I die.”
As the two tugged at each other in a back-and-forth, You Qinglan discovered how a stubborn Li Wan’er was like for the first time.
As the arguing and tugging escalated non-stop, You Qinglan who had not dared to say too much for fear that Li Wan’er could not take it now accidentally blurted out, “He’s dead!”
With just that, Li Wan’er stopped struggling, stopped arguing.
She turned to look at You Qinglan, “What did you just say? I…”
“He’s dead,” Seeing that Li Wan’er still looked healthy for now, since she had already said it anyway, You Qinglan thought that she might as well resolve the matter once and for all.
Letting Li Wan’er feel pain and agony once was at least better than her going on like this and unknowingly getting herself killed at some point in time.
“He really is dead...I did some things behind your back,” Seeing that there was no one nearby, You Qinglan lowered her voice and spoke of how she had been threatened and deliberately approached Xiang Ning to speak of that agreement between Li Wan’er and Xu Tingsheng, thereby causing them to break up.
“So, that person must have moved against him. If you continue looking for him, you’ll only end up throwing away your life, and mine,” You Qinglan finally said.
“Got it. If you have a chance in the future, help me apologise to Little Xiang Ning,” Li Wan’er said calmly in a low tone.
Then, she collapsed onto the ground.
In August, having entered twelfth grade, Xiang Ning had already prematurely started tuition over the summer holidays.
Li Linlin had a plan that she said was at Xu Tingsheng’s instructions. She also had to keep up in school...it was actually very tiring for Xiang Ning.
Over this period of time, she was still returning to this home. Apple and Wu Yuewei had both come for a while during the holidays. Du Jin had moved back in...worried about her, Mr and Mrs Xiang would sometimes take turns to come over and accompany her too.
Xiang Ning acted very optimistic in front of everyone.
What was different from before was that she had started writing a diary.
Everyday, she would write what she wanted to tell but had no way of telling Xu Tingsheng in the diary…
“Hey, why aren’t you back yet? I’ve even sung that song a hundred times already. You said you would come see me soon. I waited, and it’s been over a year…”
“I must admit something to you. At home today, I tore one of your clothes when washing it. I just very much felt like helping to wash your clothes. It was always you who helped me to wash mine before. I want to become a bit more sensible now. But you don’t have any dirty clothes...so every time I feel like washing, I always wash that one. In the end...as I rubbed and rubbed, it suddenly got torn.”
“A while ago, I chatted with Big Sis Apple and Big Sis Yuewei about you everyday...it feels so miraculous. So all of us like you for different reasons.”
“Anyway, I definitely want to be the one who likes you the most. I’ve already received the most for no reason, after all.”
“By the way, I have to praise you. I’m increasingly coming to find that your charm is so, so great. Are you happy?”
“I just returned from evening self-study. I’m on my bed now. I’m in twelfth grade. It’s really tiring! Still, rest assured. I will work very hard.”
“Right, can you guess which university I want to get into?”
“I want to get into Yanzhou University. I’m afraid that you might be unable to find me first thing when you come back. So, I’ll definitely remain in Yanzhou.”
“Also, you attended school there. It’s where you lived! There are definitely many traces of you there.”
“I know that it was very easy for you to enter Yanzhou University. Your marks were really high. It was because of me that you came to Yanzhou University. But to me, that’s a difficult university! The marks are so high, it’s so hard...sigh, this little study flunkie, Miss Xiang, must go all out.”
“I felt a bit shy today because I suddenly thought of something. I wanted to ask you: I said that I’d give you something after graduation...do you still want it? I definitely won’t react by reflex this time, moving my legs, kicking you. I’m serious.”
“I had a dream last night. I dreamt that you came back. When I opened the door for you, you directly carried me, brought me into the room and dumped me on the bed...then, I didn’t attack by reflex at all."
One could only wonder if there had been such a diary in those three years of Xu Tingsheng’s previous life.Previous Chapter Next Chapter