Chapter 129: 200000 per glass
Xiang Ning did not know how to cook. In Xu Tingsheng’s previous life, even up to her graduation from university, she had never cooked even a single dish before. Back then, she had said that she had decided to cling to Uncle, and that like this, she would never have to learn how to cook her entire life. Xu Tingsheng had agreed with her words.
Currently, as she was watching television in the living room, Xu Tingsheng was busy cooking in the kitchen, whipping up a few simple dishes and also finding some flour and making some handmade noodles with it. It was what he had once done for her, what he hoped that he could always do for her.
Over this period of time, Lu Zhixin gave Xu Tingsheng a call, asking him when he would arrive. Xu Tingsheng explained the current situation to her, saying that he could not leave his student alone at home. Next, he asked her whether Fang Chen was there.
Lu Zhixin said that she was.
Since Fang Chen was there, Xu Tingsheng was able to set his mind at ease. With Fang Chen’s identity and capabilities, she should be much better equipped to cope with such a situation than he was. Moreover, apart from Fang Chen and Lu Zhixin, Xu Tingsheng had also called Old Wai, Huang Yaming and Tan Yao over to take care of the two girls.
Amongst them, Old Wai could be considered Hucheng’s representative, while Huang Yaming and Tan Yao had gone over to help with the drinking and take care of the mood at the scene. This was precisely their speciality.
In business discussions over the wine table, the quantity of wine downed was the most profound principle. This sort of ‘culture’ and atmosphere had existed and would continue persisting for a very long time. It was also not a rare thing at all for figures of authority to have gotten where they were due to their ability to drink and make conversation.
Lu Zhixin did not insist that he come.
Hanging up the phone, with Mrs Xiang’s apron tied around his waist, Xu Tingsheng served the dishes and the noodles before calling Xiang Ning over to eat.
Seeing Xu Tingsheng wearing an apron, Xiang Ning felt a little like laughing. However, remembering his earlier words, she dared not act without restraint. When she was seated and ate her first mouthful of noodles along with the dishes…
Xiang Ning stared surprisedly at Xu Tingsheng.
Whilst feeling secretly triumphant within, Xu Tingsheng feigned calmness. With his high culinary proficiency as well as his exceptional knowledge of Xiang Ning’s palate, while conquering the girl’s heart might be a little harder, for him to conquer her stomach was as easy as pie.
“Wow…are you Uncle now or still a teacher?” Xiang Ning asked as she ate.
Xu Tingsheng smiled, “It’s not lesson time now. I can be Uncle for a while.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Xiang Ning nodded enthusiastically, “It’s so delicious. Uncle, I really wish that I can always eat meals made by you in the future.”
This sentence was not as extreme as ‘I want to eat meals made by you for my entire life’. There was thus no way for Xu Tingsheng to throw out something as crazy as ‘I’ll make meals for you your entire life’ out of the blue.
“If you do well in your mid-terms, I’ll find a chance and cook for you again,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Huh,” Little Xiang Ning sighed, saying rather dissatisfiedly, “Still a teacher.”
To find an equilibrium behind Uncle and teacher was very hard indeed. Xu Tingsheng stopped talking, eating in silence. Afterwards, he cleared up the table and washed up the plates. When all this had been settled, it was already almost time for lessons.
It was around 7.30pm when Mr and Mrs Xiang returned. Hearing Xu Tingsheng’s voice in the study room, they were rather surprised and nervous. However, after listening for a while, they found that of the teacher and student inside, the former was clear in his explanations and even rather stern at times while the latter was listening conscientiously as well.
Mr and Mrs Xiang felt reassured. Remembering that the two of them might not have eaten yet, Mr Xiang had just wanted to go in and ask them about it when Mrs Xiang pulled him back.
“Look,” Mrs Xiang opened the fridge and pointed, “This kid can cook. When Little Ning previously said that he had taken care of his little sister at home or something before, I hadn’t really believed it that much. Now, I believe it completely. Look at how these have been packed, spick and span as well as neat and tidy. He clearly knows how to and is very experienced in it.”
Mr Xiang nodded, “It seems like he really is a good kid. There’re not many boys who know how to do all this and take care of their families at such an age. Also, already learning to be self-sufficient just having entered university-it is a rare thing indeed.”
“That’s right, and it’s not just that,” Mrs Xiang said, “Come here, let me tell you. I previously heard from Little Ning that…”
The sob story that Xu Tingsheng had told Xiang Ning before in order to gain her sympathy had been conveyed to her mother by her. Now, it was being conveyed to Mr Xiang via his wife.
With his age, Mr Xiang could also be considered as having come from that generation which had had it tough. He especially valued such qualities in a boy, being diligent and practical as well as possessing a sense of responsibility and acting dependably.
Having heard Mrs Xiang’s description of Xu Tingsheng’s life, Mr Xiang formed a very good impression of Xu Tingsheng as he thought for a while before asking his wife, “How about we raise his wages a little? This kid really has it too tough, still having to take care of his family.”
“I think it’s fine. You look for a chance and discuss it with him next time. While we won’t be able to give all that much, we can still show our appreciation at the very least,” Mrs Xiang agreed.
Still not knowing that he had somehow unwittingly come to gain so many impression points from Mr and Mrs Xiang, Xu Tingsheng was still earnestly in the midst of conducting his lesson.
In the private room of the hotel restaurant that Fang Chen had personally booked, other than the five people from Hucheng, there were also seven people who held leadership positions in two different banks as well as those who had accompanied them there.
At the start of the meal, if not for giving Fang Chen face, these people would definitely have disdainfully turned and left right upon seeing that the other side was entirely composed of mere youngsters. However, as they conversed, somewhere along the way, the feeling that they were dealing with just a mere bunch of kids just somehow unknowingly vanished.
They were as thorough as thorough could be, as considerate as considerate should be. Grasping things to exactly the right extent as well, there was really no underestimating them.
It was Fang Chen whom they were giving face to, or rather that social circle as well as the Fang Family that lay behind her. However, even while being unable to make a move on Fang Chen, these people still had their ‘habitual inclinations’. Other than the two women whom they had brought over, it was mostly Lu Zhixin whom they continually invited to drink more wine.
Lu Zhixin grasped the initiative very well, not drinking much whilst also still drinking some. She did not offend anyone or lose her footing, causing everyone to look at her in a different light.
“If considering from a business standpoint, perhaps Tingsheng really should get together with this Lu Zhixin,” A semi-drunken Tan Yao told Huang Yaming when they were visiting the toilet.
Huang Yaming was definitely biased towards Apple. However, hearing Tan Yao say this now, he nodded after pondering for a bit, expressing his agreement.
Yet, matters of heart couldn’t actually be evaluated by who was more suitable. If even love had to use this as a benchmark, listing out the necessary conditions and the upper and lower limits, human beings really couldn’t be called creatures of emotion anymore.
As the meal drew to a close, two of those over from the bank fell. Over on Hucheng’s side, Old Wai and Huang Yaming had fallen as well. Right, Old Wai had actually fallen right at the start. As Xu Tingsheng’s bro, Huang Yaming had forcibly dragged down two people with him.
The matter of the loan proceeded as Xu Tingsheng had said earlier, being split into two sums, the amount reaching 1.2 million yuan. Fang Chen and Lu Zhixin both felt rather dissatisfied with this sum, mainly wanting to use the training institute that they would be obtaining afterwards as collateral. Due to this, they were unable to come to an agreement.
Lu Zhixin was especially worried due to Xu Tingsheng’s earlier words constantly reminding her, ‘For money, it’s the more the merrier’ as well as ‘when the time comes, Hucheng will expand’.
Actually, those from the bank were feeling troubled as well. Directly refusing to give Fang Chen face would be bad, but if they gave an inappropriate figure with the other side lacking the ability to pay their loan back, it would similarly be hard for them as well.
A deputy whispered some words into a branch manager’s ear, the branch manager nodding and smiling before turning and asking Fang Chen, “Niece of the Fang Family, we agreed upon 1.2 million yuan just now, with 600000 coming from each of us. You seem to…feel that it’s too little?”
“I just hope that Uncles can take care of us and give us a bit more,” Fang Chen smiled.
“Let’s have it this way then. We’ll give you an opportunity. As for how much you can get, that’ll all be up to you.”
The branch manager smilingly brought over a large goblet, filling it full of white wine after which he pointed at it, “One mouthful one glass, one glass 200000, 100000 from each of us two…still, let’s first agree on this. You can only choose one person amongst you to drink.”
The branch manager of the other bank agreed, “That’s right, we’ve heard long ago that niece’s alcohol capacity is bottomless. In choosing a method like just, we’re actually just indirectly handing you money…after you’ve returned, you can’t say that Uncles didn’t take care of you!”
This was the final solution that the banks could come up with to keep things amicable. Having agreed upon 1.2 million earlier, they had actually left leeway amidst this. The old wily foxes had been out in society for too long, never ever easily revealing what their bottom line was.
The leeway that they had left…
“Even if you do really have a bottomless capacity like that, with a large goblet like that and 52 degree Wuliangye wine, you’d only be able to drink five of them in a single mouthful at most. We’d give you a million yuan more then. Anyway, it won’t end up exceeding no matter what.”
“Do your words count, Uncles?” Fang Chen smiled, asking.
“Of course they count.”
“Like Uncles would try to swindle you.”
The two branch managers faced her with smiles on their faces.
Three people still remained on Hucheng’s side. Tan Yao was already teetering on the brink of collapse, with only Fang Chen and Lu Zhixin who had not drunk much earlier still being relatively sober.
In the eyes of those from the bank, it was definitely Fang Chen whom Hucheng’s side would choose…she was rather renowned for her alcohol capacity both inside and outside of the business industry. It was precisely because of this that the two branch managers possessed a general grasp of her capabilities, feeling that the situation was completely within their grasp.
“So…we’ll be starting then,” Fang Chen said.
“Please,” The two branch managers raised their hands.
To their bemused gazes, Lu Zhixin who was seated beside Fang Chen smiled as she raised the wineglass, perfectly composed as she downed the first glass neither hurriedly nor slowly, finally pursing her lips as she flashed the empty glass at them.
“This…Miss Lu has an even greater alcohol capacity?” The two branch managers were taken fatally unawares.
“It’s just around there. It’s mainly for fear that I might end up too tragically…if word spreads of this, those not in the know might even think that Uncles were bullying me, right?” Fang Chen said, and the two branch managers felt that it made sense.
And so, Lu Zhixin calmly downed the second cup, the third cup…her expression not changing at all.
When Lu Zhixin had reached the fifth glass, the expressions of the two branch managers changed as one of them asked, “Miss Lu, you…are you okay? You shouldn’t force yourself too much with this.”
“Thanks, I’m okay. It’s fine.”
After saying that she was fine, Lu Zhixin proved her words in the best manner possible. She stood up, walked outside, called for a waiter and asked for a few more bottles of wine. Next, she returned and sat down. She was walking stably the entire time, her gait not disorderly at all.
Exchanging glances, the two branch managers knew that they were in for it.
However, having personally given their word, could they still retract them now? If they did so…what would Fang Chen think? What if word of it spread?
Lu Zhixin downed her sixth, then seventh glass. The leeway that had been available to the two branch managers had already been exceeded. Of course, it wasn’t that they had no way around it. It also wasn’t like they hadn’t given loans numbering into the tens of millions before. It was just that it would be rather troublesome.
“Miss, don’t drink too much and harm your body,” The deputy who had proposed the idea to the branch manager earlier interrupted rather uneasily.
He was the worst off here, because this pit…had inadvertently been dug by him for his superior to fall into.
Lu Zhixin smiled, downing the eighth glass and flashing it to show that it was empty, “I’m still okay.”
The ninth glass. Lu Zhixin’s figure began wobbling slightly.
“That’s more or less it. Don’t drink anymore,” Tan Yao persuaded her from the side in a low tone.
“Zhixin, this is enough,” Fang Chen was of the same opinion.
Lu Zhixin smiled, “Tingsheng said, the more the merrier. I’m still okay.”
The tenth glass.
The eleventh glass.
Already unable to stand, Lu Zhixin was seated as she raised the twelfth glass.
The two branch managers were already lost for words. However great the final sum was, it had already freaking exceeded their initial upper limit. If it had exceeded by one million, they could have wracked their brains and thought of something. If it had exceeded by two million, they could still have wracked their brains for a bit…they could only swallow their grievances whole. Luckily, there was still someone suffering with them.
“Waiter, take the wine away.”
Fang Chen stopped Lu Zhixin and asked the waiter to clear up the table. Perhaps Lu Zhixin’s current condition didn’t appear as serious as ordinary people when they were downed by just a couple of glasses. However, thinking about those kilograms of strong white wine that now filled her stomach, Fang Chen would not let her continue drinking any longer no matter what.
“I can still drink!” Lu Zhixin slurred indistinctly before downing the twelfth glass that she was holding in a single go and gesturing towards the waiter, “Leave me a bottle.”
Having forcibly drank the 1.2 million to 3.6 million all on her own, she still wanted to drink.
“Answer a call for a bit,” Tan Yao passed his phone over.