Chapter 102: The way out
As in Xu Tingsheng’s previous life, the three chose a simple roadside restaurant, ordering a few simple dishes to their small room and also calling for three bottles of wine.
The name of this small restaurant was ‘Looking Back’. It was a very widespread name, virtually being present in all the cities across the entire country.
This restaurant’s dishes were rather spicy. However, with its low prices and the sufficient quantities of food it served, it was a very popular place.
‘Looking Back’ was very famous in this tiny Libei. In his previous life, every time Xu Tingsheng returned to Libei following his eventual departure from it, he would always gather at this place together with Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng.
In his previous life, Xu Tingsheng had collapsed from drunkenness here many times before. Sometimes, it had been due to happiness. Sometimes, it had been due to pain and frustration. Sometimes, he had even had to be carried home. Perhaps in this life, on this very night, he would be drunk here again.
“I know that you must definitely be mad,” Fu Cheng said, “Sometime like this having happened to their Dad, anyone would be mad. Still, we’ve got no way about it now; the Huang Family isn’t something we can bring down at the present moment. As long as Uncle Xu’s fine, just tolerate them for now. Many days lie ahead.”
Xu Tingsheng knew that Fu Cheng was not wrong. Suppressing his rage and waiting till the Xu Family had grown strong, there would surely eventually come the time when vengeance could be had. Even though he still felt unresigned to the fact, still felt furious about it, not wanting his two friends to feel worried over him, Xu Tingsheng nodded and downed a glass of wine.
“That’s right. As long as it’s anyone who’s a little more knowledgeable in Libei, who doesn’t know what their Huang Family is like, what that Huang Tianliang and Huang Tianzhu are like?”
“Seizing land, bribery, forcibly buying and selling, dealings with the criminal underworld…what bad things have their Huang Family not done before?”
“But in Libei, just based on these alone, there is no one who can bring them down.”
Originating from his innate interest in officialdom, while Huang Yaming was still rather young, he knew quite a lot of things about it. Perhaps he himself was one of those knowledgeable people that he had just spoken of.
Xu Tingsheng, on the contrary, was unfamiliar with all of this. In his previous life, Xu Tingsheng had been innately averse to matters of officialdom, having totally no interest in all those related matters as a result.
However, as Huang Yaming had said, what did it matter that Xu Tingsheng knew all of this now? He still remained unable to bring down the Huang Family.
“Let me tell you something funny,” Huang Yaming continued in a mysterious tone, “Do you know what some people call Huang Tianliang in secret? They’ve given him a nickname.”
“Just say it! What’re you acting all mysterious for?” Fu Cheng asked impatiently.
“Weasel(Huang Shulang), haha! Sounds like it, right? It also sounds like all the dastardly things he’s done,” Huang Yaming laughed, actually just trying to lift Xu Tingsheng’s spirits.
“Huang Tianliang, Huang Shulang…it really does have a bit of meaning to it,” Fu Cheng said.
“That’s right! The first time I heard of it, I felt that it truly couldn’t be any more fitting. Now that his Huang Family is in power, many people don’t dare to mention it. Otherwise, I wager that this nickname would have spread long ago,” Huang Yaming said.
Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng chatted on for a while only to finally realise that however enthusiastically they discussed, Xu Tingsheng just didn’t follow up on their words. Turning over to look at him, they found him seated dazedly there with an upraised wineglass in his hand, with a look of currently pondering deeply about something.
“Tingsheng, what’s up with you? … Tingsheng…” Fu Cheng reached over and waved his hand before Xu Tingsheng’s face.
Xu Tingsheng still hadn’t fully snapped out of it as he murmured to himself, “Weasel…unable to bring down…what if, he’s killed someone?”
“What? Killed someone? …You’re saying saying that Weasel’s a murderer?” Huang Yaming suppressed his tone and yelled out.
“No, this is just hypothetical,” Xu Tingsheng hurriedly explained, “Didn’t you say that he can’t be brought down? I mean-what if he’s killed someone?”
“If there is proof, we can directly accuse him at the city, no, the provincial level…As this matter is pursued, everything else will surely be brought to light as well. At that time, it would definitely be game over for the Huang Family,” Huang Yaming said.
“Sadly, this is only hypothetical. Even if he’s really killed before, we also don’t have any proof of it, right?” Fu Cheng said.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Xu Tingsheng said softly, his head lowered.
The door of the room was suddenly pushed open, a bunch of six or seven men entering along with three women.
“Who’re you looking for?” Huang Yaming stood up.
“Oh, we just happened to pass by and saw the Xu Family’s car parked outside,” The leading youth who looked around 27 said, “So, we came in for a look. Which of you three is from the Xu Family?”
Knowing from his tone that this bunch harboured malicious intentions, Xu Tingsheng looked up and said, “Me.”
“Oh, you’re that little brat of the Xu Family? Called, um…Xu, Xu Tingsheng?” The youth said, “Let me introduce myself. I’m surnamed Huang, named Huang Gui…”
The three showed no response.
“What, you don’t know me? You must surely know my Dad then. My Dad’s name is Huang Tianliang.”
Hearing him report his family name, Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng knew that the current situation would not be an amiable one. As they secretly clutched the wine bottles in their hands, Xu Tingsheng signalled with his eyes for them to release their grips as he remained silent.
The youth walked over towards Xu Tingsheng and lowered his head to gaze at him before continuing, “Did you know? My Dad suddenly scolded me for no rhyme or reason after having returned home today, saying that I…”
The youth pointed at himself and said, “My Dad said that I…am incomparable to you. Come, let me see what exactly you’re like, how exactly I’m incomparable to you.”
Having finished, the youth named Huang Gui swatted lightly at Xu Tingsheng’s face, wanting him to turn his head over.
Xu Tingsheng did not move.
Huang Gui gradually increased the strength in his hand, light swatting turning into forceful slaps as heavy ‘thud’ sounds resounded. Alongside this also resounded the mocking laughter of his entourage behind him.
Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng wanted to stand up, but were pressured as Huang Gui’s lackeys present at the scene placed threatening hands on their shoulders.
At the two’s inner conflict, Xu Tingsheng indicated for them not to move. He did not wish for any kind of conflict to break out here. This was not because of their numerical disadvantage and also not because he did not want to drag Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng into things. Such matters need not even be considered between them. Xu Tingsheng was tolerating this outrage because there was something more important that he had to do.
Seeing Xu Tingsheng failing to respond, Huang Gui stopped rather disinterestedly, asking mockingly, “What, you’re afraid of me?”
Then, he turned towards the bunch of people behind him and asked, “You see? Just some useless trash. Really, tell me-his mother, in what way am I inferior to him?”
That entourage of his naturally coordinated entreatingly with him as various disparaging noises now resounded for a time.
Mocking laughter, mocking words, even cursing-Xu Tingsheng pretended not to hear any of it.
“His mother, why am I also surnamed Huang? Sigh, how unfortunate,”Huang Yaming scolded after they had left.
“We can’t move against him now. When Uncle Xu’s out, let’s find a chance to go get him with a burlap sack over his head,” Fu Cheng said.
If not for Xu Tingsheng continually having stopped them from doing so earlier, even if they would have eaten a loss, they would have still fought with Huang Gui’s group.
They were currently more worried about Xu Tingsheng than they had been before.
However, unexpectedly, Xu Tingsheng laughed for his first time this evening before saying, “Looking at how the next generation of the Huang Family is still playing hooligan when already around 27, he really is greatly meagre as compared to his father Huang Tianliang…It’s great like this. This way, I can set my mind at ease.”
“Huh? I don’t understand. Are we still getting that burlap sack then?” Fu Cheng asked.
“Of course. It’s only a matter of sooner or later,” Xu Tingsheng said with a smile showing at the corners of his mouth.
What Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng had failed to grasp was why Xu Tingsheng had said that he would be able to set his mind at ease with the next generation of the Huang Family being this way. Xu Tingsheng did not tell them that this was because the previous generation of the Huang Family, was about to fall.
After driving Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng back, Xu Tingsheng still didn’t go directly home. He drove for a while before locating the red villa that was located at the foot of the hill behind and to the side of Libei Senior High.
The interior of the villa was completely pitch black. Judging by the trash by the doorway and the spiderwebs hanging down from the walls and the ceiling, Huang Tianliang must not have returned here to stay for a very long time.
He did not dare to live here, because in the basement of this villa, beneath the underground concrete pouring…was concealed a corpse.
Right. Huang Tianliang was indeed a murderer.
Having left Libei too early in his previous life, Xu Tingsheng possessed virtually no memories at all of this legendary figure of Libei County, Huang Tianliang. Earlier, he had also been recollecting with all his might, hoping to grasp some information that might be of use in helping him to deal with the Huang Family, with Huang Tianliang. However, he had come up blank. No relevant information had been obtained from his memories at all.
In actual fact, however, it was not that no such information existed. It was just that in that major incident regarding his hometown that Xu Tingsheng had heard about in his previous life, the main character had not been called Huang Tianliang. At that time, the people of Libei had all already grown bold enough to freely call him…Huang Shulang(Weasel).
It was around 2013 that the news had been published. When the Huang Tianliang of 10 years later had been indicted, he had already not been a Bureau Chief for a long time, instead having just been managing a casual post.
Therefore, be it Huang Tianliang’s name or his Bureau Chief position, neither had been able to stimulate Xu Tingsheng’s memories at all. It was only when Huang Yaming had mentioned Huang Tianliang’s nickname being Weasel just earlier that Xu Tingsheng had been able to remember.
Apparently, Huang Tianliang was that Weasel.
Right at that moment, Xu Tingsheng had remembered a piece of news regarding their hometown that Mrs Xu had just loved prattling to him about in his previous life many years after he had already graduated from university and come to stably reside in Jiannan City:
“When I called your aunt today, she told me about an incident. Our Libei’s Weasel is finally about to be executed. Did you know? Apparently, in that red house behind your previous senior high that he owned, he had actually had a dead body buried underground!”
“After this matter was exposed, the higher-ups investigated into it and discovered everything that he was hiding.”
“I heard that he’s going to be shot to death. What a pity, for him to have been able to live for so long whilst having harmed our Libei for so many years…Many back at Libei have been setting off firecrackers on the streets these past few days.”
Xu Tingsheng had always been rather bothered by Mrs Xu’s prattling in his previous life, yet forever not daring to interrupt her. Therefore, he would just keep from responding to her words. This was probably a strategy that many people used against their mother’s prattling.
When Xu Tingsheng reached home that night, Mrs Xu was still waiting worriedly for him in the living room, exclaiming as soon as she saw him, “Tingsheng, Mum still feels a little panicked by all that’s happened. Mum can’t help but prattle a little…”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Mum, I love listening to your prattling the most.”