Chapter 101: Predicament
Leaving the Huang Family with a heavy gait.
Xu Tingsheng’s defeated feeling did not actually stem fully from Huang Tianzhu’s provocative words. What he truly felt helpless about was the difference between what he had thought and the actual reality.
Upon having received the news from Fang Yuqing, Xu Tingsheng had thought that this matter had already been resolved. Now, however, a suffocating feeling weighed down upon him somewhat.
This was just like having borrowed a cannon to get rid of a wolf, the wolf instead suddenly transformed into a mosquito, continuing to buzz around you incessantly as it was prepared to give you a bite at any time.
Huang Tianliang’s analysis of Xu Tingsheng was completely correct. From the source of those calls as well as their number, he had been able to determine that these were not the Xu Family’s own connections.
Otherwise, the Xu Family would not have blindly thrown out so many cards together like this. This was clear proof of the Xu Family having borrowed the power of another. Meanwhile, this power could not be borrowed by them time and time again.
If this connection were Xu Tingsheng’s own, if say it were Fang Yuqing himself who was of use in this matter, Xu Tingsheng could have continued borrowing his power with totally no reservations whatsoever, continuing to apply pressure on the Huang Family.
However, under the current circumstances, was he to ask Fang Yuqing to tell his grandfather that the other side had already agreed to release his father, but was actually delaying the relevant procedures…asking him to beg his grandfather to act once more and get others to continue applying pressure merely such that the other side would give up on those procedures?
This was unrealistic. From the surface, at least, Xu Tingsheng’s matter had actually already been resolved. Mr Xu would be fine.
The feeling of punching mightily onto a pile of absorbent cotton was not great at all. The feeling of being grasped and played with by another was not great at all. Every single additional second that Mr Xu spent inside especially caused Xu Tingsheng incomparable agony. However, he could not make things difficult for Fang Yuqing any further.
Xu Tingsheng sent Fang Yuqing a message, saying that the matter had already been resolved, that the other side had already agreed to release his father. Fang Yuqing was very happy for him.
Afterwards, Uncle Rong and his mother, uncles and aunts who received the news were all overjoyed as well. As they saw it, the Xu Family having been able to retreat in one piece after having provoked the local snakeheads of Libei County, it was already sufficient cause for joy.
As long as it was certain that Mr Xu would be fine, there was nothing wrong with with them losing face a little. It was fine if Mr Xu came out a few days later-that was harmless, really.
Xu Tingsheng, however, thought differently.
What Xu Tingsheng was concerned about was the Huang Family’s attitude that still remained overbearing. He was concerned about the Huang Family continuing to move unrelentingly against the Xu Family in the future.
If the Xu Family, whilst having used their full strength this time, still had to lower their heads in the end, with the two sides already in a feud, the Huang Family would never let them go so easily. They would definitely continue observing them in secret, eyeing for appropriate moments to strike.
The Huang Family might not act against them on the surface, but their covert actions would only perpetually increase. Not killing a snake dead, the future troubles would only be endless.
Additionally, Xu Tingsheng’s persistence also stemmed from the fact that as a son, he was just unable to watch helplessly on as his father was forced to remain in a holding cell until the second day of the new year. He wanted his father home to usher in the new year together, their entire family reunited. He wanted to win justice for his father, washing his humiliation clean. He wanted the Huang Family to pay for their actions no matter what.
Otherwise, he would feel that he was even more unfilial than in his previous life.
Xu Tingsheng was walking along an extreme, the extreme of ‘filial piety’. After having grown sensible in his previous life, he had already no longer had the chance to be filial. Able to live his life again now, if he was still unable to secure the stability of his family…such agony caused Xu Tingsheng to feel depressed as he had never been before ever since his rebirth.
Xu Tingsheng did not dare to go straight home. He was afraid that these negative emotions of his might show through before his mother and his sister. Having earlier confirmed that Mr Xu would be fine, they might just be able to sleep in peace tonight.
Xu Tingsheng parked his car by a riverside road, opening the door before he leaned back on the driver’s seat and smoked a cigarette.
Yet, when the Xu Family, when Xu Tingsheng himself had still yet to develop and grow strong, for him to think up a viable plan for dealing with the Huang Family would be very difficult indeed.
Xu Tingsheng was completely stumped. His foreknowledge was the advantage that rebirth had gifted him, but however much he sieved through his memories, he was still unable to think of any useful, relevant information regarding the Huang Family, regarding Huang Tianliang at all.
An Audi A6 was still very obtrusive in a small county like Libei right before the start of the year 2004, especially when the one sitting inside was not a bald, pot-bellied middle-aged man but a good-looking young man.
From the rearview mirror, Xu Tingsheng saw a girl in her early twenties gazing at him and his car from a distance away. She hesitated for a while, soon seemingly having made up her mind as she poured a bit of water on her clothes before walking over to the car.
“Hi, do you have tissue paper in your car?” The girl pretended to ask awkwardly before she pointed towards her chest, “I accidentally spilled some water on myself just now, and I forgot to bring tissue paper.”
Xu Tingsheng said nothing, just extending some tissues to the girl.
The girl wiped her clothes with the tissues before saying smilingly, “Thanks! Are you waiting for someone? Or are you alone?”
As Xu Tingsheng remained silent, she continued, “You look like you’re in a rather bad mood. Mind if we get to know each other? I can chat with you for a while, or…we can go for a spin?”
Xu Tingsheng was finally unable to restrain himself as he asked mockingly, “What then? You wouldn’t mind doing it in the car…?”
The girl was shocked by Xu Tingsheng’s proposal or perhaps just conflicted and hesitating as she smiled, “That’s…that seems a little fast, don’t you think?”
She had not rejected him outright, but Xu Tingsheng changed the topic, asking, “How much do you think my car here costs?”
The girl was taken aback for a moment before she replied, “Several hundred thousand, I guess?”
“How much are you worth then?”
“You definitely feel that you are less valuable than this car. If I’m not wrong, that person cycling over from that direction right now must be your boyfriend, because you turned your face away as soon as you saw him appear, even pushing your scarf upwards,” Xu Tingsheng said, “It’s cold in winter, and he’s come to fetch you even without gloves on. Thus, be it cycling or walking even, he’s still more valuable than this car regardless. You should treasure him well.”
Xu Tingsheng spoke very earnestly, very sincerely, but the girl hesitated for a moment before then insisting, “But, I don’t know him. Really.”
Xu Tingsheng raised his head upwards, looking straight at her, “Oh. Then, have you heard about the matter of the Xu Family? The one who owns that Happy Shoppers.”
“Yeah,” The girl nodded, a quizzical look appearing in her eyes.
Libei was very small, such that virtually everyone in the entire county had learnt of the Xu Family’s matter over just this single day. They knew that the Xu Family had been targeted by the Huang Family, knew that Mr Xu had been incarcerated, knew that the Xu Family had fallen greatly overnight.
Everyone was saying that the Xu Family which had merely recently risen to prominence over the past half year would likely soon be rendered bankrupt and saddled with debt.
“Then, if I told you that I am surnamed Xu, am Xu Tingsheng of the Xu Family, would you still get on?” Xu Tingsheng asked, “If there is no car in the future, you accompanying me in slowly paying back our debts-is that fine?”
The girl left, getting on the back seat of the bicycle. The boy sitting in front straightened up, shielding her from the wind as he cycled.
Xu Tingsheng lit up another cigarette. The words had told that girl just now were obviously false. Mr Xu had already been secured; the Xu Family would not fall just like that.
However, just from this one ordinary girl, Xu Tingsheng was able to reaffirm how harsh and bleak a place this world was. In this world, the people who can evoke warmth in your heart amidst those difficult times are but a rare few at the end of the day.
Fortunately, Xu Tingsheng had such people.
His phone rang. It was Huang Yaming. Xu Tingsheng picked up the call.
Huang Yaming asked, “Tingsheng, where are you? Fu Cheng and I are looking for you.”
Xu Tingsheng asked for their location and drove over to pick them up. Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng had actually just left the Xu Family home not long ago. They came bearing news of the situation there. Since the afternoon, there were many who had given up on asking for their money back. The money had not been depleted completely; more than eight hundred thousand yuan still remained.
“Have you eaten dinner yet?” Fu Cheng asked Xu Tingsheng.
“I ate a bowl of noodles.”
“Let’s find a place to eat a little. The two of us will accompany you.”