Chapter 688: Across mountains and seas is not far, a foot is
Huang Yaming finally received a call from Xu Tingsheng from across the great ocean.
Xiang Ning was still in the hospital. Maybe because she was too nervous, Du Jin had struck her a bit hard at the time. Huang Yaming explained the situation simply, telling Xu Tingsheng not to worry.
Finally, he said mildly, “Everything’s fine over here. We’re just waiting for you to return.”
While he spoke mildly, not even sounding moved and excited at all, the feelings of brotherhood therein, whether in the ordinariness of his previous life or the eventfulness of this life, had never changed.
Xu Tingsheng longed to be home.
On the flight back, a sea of clouds roiled outside the window. Xu Tingsheng’s heart felt like that sea of clouds.
Cen Xishan was sitting in the seat beside him.
“After going back, please don’t approach my daughter again,” Having been silent throughout the flight of a few hours, Cen Xishan suddenly said this just before the plane began its descent.
Xu Tingsheng turned to look at him rather blankly.
“I can basically guess it. You and her are the same kind of people.”
Cen Xishan was actually the other person who was returning today. In contrast to a year for Xu Tingsheng, it had been more than ten years for him...still, at this moment, their states of mind were completely different. Xu Tingsheng was feeling anticipation, while it was more of unease that was mixed within the anticipation Cen Xishan was feeling.
“While it may sound a bit absurd, I firmly believe that you and her are the same kind of people. You...probably made a deal with the devil, receiving some special abilities. So, do not approach my daughter again,” Cen Xishan turned to look at Xu Tingsheng, “I can’t let her turn into another tragedy. You can take this request as the compensation I seek for having helped you this time. It can actually also be taken as me threatening you...if you don’t listen, I will broadcast your secret to the public, regardless of how many of them will believe it.”
In both this life and the previous, Cen Xishan could not be defined as a ‘good person’. Still, just as he could decisively hurt Zhou Yuandai for his wife and daughter in his previous life, he also had the courage to duke it out with Xu Tingsheng for his daughter’s sake in this life. This was what he believed, at least.
Xu Tingsheng could only remain silent towards this, while Cen Xishan did not seek to obtain an answer too.
The plane glided down, landing stably on the ground.
“Xiyu has her own career now. As for me, I also have some personal investments from over the years, such as shares from Facebook...as a father, I can take care of my own daughter. There’s no need for you to worry about her,” Cen Xishan said this as the plane stopped on the runway.
Then, he brought his two bodyguards along and hastily left first like he was avoiding the devil.
Having seen two Zhou Yuandais before, he did not know that they were two different people. He thought that she had experienced some terrifying, inconceivable change. In his eyes, Xu Tingsheng was the next Zhou Yuandai.
“So, when I step out of this gate, Apple shouldn’t be outside?” As for the future, Xu Tingsheng felt that he should still leave it up to Apple himself.
Without any luggage at all, Xu Tingsheng stopped before he left the passageway, taking a few deep breaths. He was just like a child who had done something wrong and was finally going home to face his parents.
There were many people standing outside...one familiar face after another.
Xu Tingsheng’s throat felt stiff as he was unable to say anything at all.
He tried hard to smile, stepping forward and hugging his teary-eyed mother and sister. He also said hi to Song Ni, Wu Yuewei, Fang Yuqing, Yu Qing, Ye Qing, Ms Fang and the rest.
Then, he slowly walked before his father, looking at his head that was full of silvery hair…
“Dad, I’m back,” Xu Tingsheng spoke, more than half his words choked back by his sob.
Mr Xu had grown old. His hair was white, his back crooked. There was less of a gleam in his eyes and wrinkles before his brows. While it had only been a year, there was no one who had borne more pain and pressure than him over this period of time.
Everyone was facing the same thing. Still, Mr Xu was different from the others. Not only did he have to bear his own portion, he also had to be the pillar of support for virtually everyone.
“It’s good that you’re back.”
Mr Xu stroked Xu Tingsheng’s hair. He held his shoulders and looked at him for a while. Then, he opened his arms and powerfully embraced his son. Once, on the day Xu Tingsheng had been reborn, seeing his formerly deceased father, he had been moved to the point of wanting to give him a hug. Mr Xu had not let him do it, saying that he was not used to such a gesture.
This wish had finally been fulfilled today.
Very soon, Mr Xu let go, smiling as he said, “You’re taller than Dad now. In the future, don’t let the family worry again.”
Xu Tingsheng forced back his tears, saying firmly, “Right. I daren’t do it again.”
He looked just like that former insensible kid. Mr Xu smiled and nodded, lightly pushing his son towards the others.
Women seemed to require more consolation and more words too. Xu Tingsheng chatted with and coaxed them one by one...before finally, it was the turn of Fu Cheng and Huang Yaming who were standing quietly on the outer ring.
Fu Cheng’s eyes were red.
Huang Yaming was smiling faintly.
“Hug me too,” He smiled and said.
Xu Tingsheng stepped forward and gave him a solid hug. There were many specifics such as that regarding Du Jin which only the two of them knew about...among Xu Tingsheng’s friends and companions, it was only Huang Yaming who was truly helping him to bear the load.
“Are you okay?” Having already heard about Du Jin’s matter over the phone, Xu Tingsheng asked in a low tone.
“Of course,” Huang Yaming said calmly, “Do you still remember what I said before? If any good woman really likes me, they are destined to be hurt for the rest of their lives. Also, the heavens have told me to live a life of debauchery. Whether you believe it or not...again, and again...I’m already very clear that this is my fate.”
“Maybe I was a boat in my previous life. So, I’m destined to roam the seas. There may be anchors which can hold me for a moment, but no ropes that can tie me for a lifetime.”
Huang Yaming made a joke that was clearly not funny at the end.
Xu Tingsheng was rendered speechless for a time.
“Actually, there really isn’t anything bad about this. Actually, it’s not everyone in this world who cannot live well without devotion in this world like you and Fu Cheng. I’m someone who walks on another path. Still, this does not mean that I cannot live well,” Huang Yaming consoled Xu Tingsheng before hugging him hard and smiling as he said, “Alright, it’s weird for two men to hug for so long. Your girl is fine. It’s just that she wasn’t in time to come with us. She’s probably at home waiting for you right now. Hurry up and go back.”
“Right, we have all the time to chat later,” Fu Cheng chimed in.
As the group made their way to the carpark, Xu Tingsheng was surprised to see Zhang Xingke standing a distance away.
He left everyone there and walked over alone.
“Welcome back,” Zhang Xingke smiled rather awkwardly, saying a bit unnaturally.
“It’s rare to see you looking so awkward,” Xu Tingsheng smiled and said.
Zhang Xingke forced a smile, “After all, I betrayed you so readily back then.”
“You didn’t betray me...you just did what you would do,” Xu Tingsheng said calmly, “You can continue with the finance company. That promise regarding Forbes still stands. Still, as for the funds, you may have to wait for some time before they come in. It so happens that the outlook's bad now. Over this period of time, you should attend Huang Yaming’s matchmaking program first. I’m in a rush to get back home today. Let’s keep in touch.”
Xu Tingsheng waved, then turned to leave.
Zhang Xingke looked blank for a bit before he hurried after him, asking, “I seem to have understood something...what I did was actually all within your expectations?”
“You can say that,” Xu Tingsheng answered frankly.
“So, you never trusted me in the first place. You also never thought that I would see you as a friend?” Zhang Xingke asked.
Xu Tingsheng shook his head, “On the contrary, it’s the reverse. I guess that in your heart, I may be your very best friend.”
Zhang Xingke nodded, “Then…”
“It’s like a glass that is filled with water,” Xu Tingsheng said, “When interacting with others, some people’s best are full glasses, sincere and able to even sacrifice their lives...for others, their best may just be eighty percent full...even sixty percent. There is no right or wrong here. The only right or wrong is asking someone who can only be eighty percent full at most to do something that only someone with a full glass can do. For some matters, getting those with at most sixty percent to do them is most appropriate.”
Zhang Xingke was an intelligent person. Hearing Xu Tingsheng’s words, he understood at once. Xu Tingsheng was indeed already the best of friends in his heart. Still, his personality determined that the best, most real he treated someone was at most a sixty percent filled glass.
Therefore, rather than looking for more trustworthy people like Huang Yaming or Fu Cheng, Xu Tingsheng had arranged for him to handle things without telling him about the actual background and motive at all...while it seemed rash, like he had indeed been betrayed, all had actually been within his control.
It was also precisely because of this that Zhang Xingke had acted authentically, not revealing any flaw in front of Zhou Yuandai at all.
All of it had been real-and the most fatal lie in this world was the truth.
There had once been a very long period of time when as an opponent and a friend, Zhang Xingke had felt that besides his genius creativity, Xu Tingsheng was not that outstanding in other aspects at all, inferior even to him. At this moment, though, Zhang Xingke understood. There was an aspect in which this person before him had actually achieved a terrifying level of cultivation. His grasp of human nature, his unrivalled prowess brought him constant victories.
Zhang Xingke might be the first person to understand this.
Xu Tingsheng might have made many mistakes before. Yet, there was one thing in which he had virtually never been wrong before, and that was his grasp of human nature. He had never been wrong in trusting or guarding against others. So, he had actually never truly been betrayed before, whether it was Lu Zhixin or Zhang Xingke.
Also, it was actually not just the economic crisis which had truly helped him to topple Zhou Yuandai. More crucial was his grasp and analysis of Zhou Yuandai’s entire personality and mental state.
“Are Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng both full glasses then?” Zhang Xingke asked at the end.
“Yes, but there’s a difference,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Huang Yaming is a full glass of strong wine while Fu Cheng is a full glass of clear water. So, there are some things that Huang Yaming can do but Fu Cheng cannot...for that dude, I can’t even give him too much. Otherwise, he’ll instead feel uneasy, causing the relationship between us to grow distant.”
Xu Tingsheng bid his farewell and left.
Zhang Xingke considered this for a while before smiling as he said towards Xu Tingsheng’s departing figure, “Thank you. Having you as a friend may be the happiest thing in this world.”
This might be the case for friends, but not so for women.
At this moment, standing a mere foot away, looking silently at that person as she concealed all her sorrow and worry from the past year and more, Wu Yuewei actually so, so much wanted to hug her senior...if she could.
Even she herself did not know-it had been two lifetimes, yet what should be done with her full glass of gentleness from both lifetimes?Previous Chapter Next Chapter