Chapter 132: Strike one, Xu Tingsheng
After Zhang Xingke had left, only the four of them remained in the lounge. They were silent for a while, all digesting the news that had just been thrown at them. Zhang Xingke might have been preparing for a long time regarding this matter, but it indeed came as rather sudden to Hucheng.
Xu Tingsheng included, all of them had only been thinking about how to expand and develop previously as they had not considered how they might deal with such troubles in the very least.
“Bro Xu, sorry. I might have spoken a little too much just now,” Old Wai said a little awkwardly.
“It’s fine. It would have been the same even if you hadn’t said those things,” Xu Tingsheng patted Old Wai’s shoulder.
Under such circumstances, perhaps he indeed shouldn’t have spoken out of turn like that. Still, Xu Tingsheng understood how he had been feeling very well. The lifeblood that he had invested into Hucheng was really no less than that by Xu Tingsheng at all. That being so, how could he just have soundlessly watched on like that as Hucheng was wrested away by someone else?
Also, he and Li Linlin possessed a ten percent share in Hucheng as well. It was not strange at all that his ‘ownerly instincts’ were rather more intense.
How much was ten percent of Hucheng’s shares worth?
It was still fine when Old Wai and Li Linlin hadn’t known about this. Having learnt the price at which Fang Chen had become a shareholder of Hucheng through Lu Zhixin afterwards, the two of them had been shocked to the point of rushing over to find Xu Tingsheng in the middle of the night, adamantly insisting on returning the shares.
“You can’t return them. Since when has there been the logic of returning something after having received it? Just focus on conscientiously working for me,” Was what Xu Tingsheng had said at the time.
In the lounge, Old Wai hung his head in guilt before asking, “Is it really as serious as that Zhang Xingke said just now? Really to the point where it is either one side or the other who survives?”
Old Wai’s tone carried quite a bit of incomprehension. The reason for his incomprehension was actually very simple. As Hucheng had yet to begin charging fees and had yet to begin making a profit, all he currently saw was a simple home tutor platform and its unceasingly changing data as it was hard for him to gain a proper realisation of it.
As soon as Hucheng began rolling in the cash in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands every single day, he wouldn’t have to ask such a question anymore. Where there were benefits to be had, conflicts would naturally arise, let alone these benefits being so great.
While Hucheng had still yet to begin charging fees, just from Zhang Xingke’s current income situation alone, it was already sufficient to determine that as soon as Hucheng got started, it would immediately become a money-making machine. Also, this was just limited to Yanzhou alone. What about when Hucheng began expanding into other cities in the future?
“Didn’t you hear him just now? He originally had more than 200000 entering his account every month. How much do you think he still has left now?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Old Wai just shook his head.
“According to our data, he might not even have a fifth of that left now,” Lu Zhixin analysed.
“That’s why, Old Wai. If someone is taking over a hundred thousand away from you every month, wouldn’t you want to duke it out with him?” Xu Tingsheng asked before he smiled, “Didn’t you hear him just now? Breaking off one’s inflow of cash is just like killing one’s parents…standing in his way is precisely what we’re doing now.”
Xu Tingsheng had given a very clear explanation of things. All that remained was self-evident.
While it appeared just to be a conflict between two university students on the surface, not being to the extent that it warranted an all-out battle to the death, due to the benefits that lay behind this…unless Xu Tingsheng was willing to hand over Hucheng or Zhang Xingke was willing to give up…it was indeed an irreconcilable situation for both sides.
“If he really wants to destroy our platform, what will he do then?” Li Linlin asked rather worriedly.
“I don’t know,” Xu Tingsheng answered, for he really didn’t know.
On a certain level, due to having spent a long time striking it out in society, Zhang Xingke could already no longer be viewed as simply a mere university student.
While Xu Tingsheng couldn’t specifically know what methods Zhang Xingke was capable of executing, just based on him having control over so many resources just as a mere university student, just based on his earlier tone of speech as well as utterly confident, cocksure manner…
Xu Tingsheng knew that he had definitely already long been prepared for if negotiations fell through, having accumulated some plans for dealing with Hucheng beforehand. Thus, his methods definitely wouldn’t be simple, wouldn’t be so easy to deal with.
“What should we do then? How about we make some preparations first?” Lu Zhixin asked.
“Let’s just wait and see. There’s no way we can prepare for it now. I’ll be returning to my dorm first,” Xu Tingsheng yawned, “You lot should remember to get some good rest as well. A war’s going to break out.”
Xu Tingsheng was waiting for Zhang Xingke’s first wave of actions. If Zhang Xingke had indeed long been prepared like he thought, this should be coming very soon. Thus, Xu Tingsheng didn’t turn off his campus handphone for once as he slept.
As for his other handphone, the one whose number Xiang Ning knew, he had never ever turned it off before.
The next morning, Xu Tingsheng was roused by the ringing of his handphone, Lu Zhixin telling him, “Get over to the computer and have a look. The forums of the various universities as well as the academy city’s ‘Xishan Tower’ forum.”
“I should just come over and take a look,” Xu Tingsheng mumbled indistinctly.
After eating breakfast, Xu Tingsheng hurried over to the riverside residence. Reaching the office on the third floor, the employees of Hucheng were all already gathered. Upon his arrival, they all directed ‘unfriendly’ gazes at him.
“What’s up? These vengeful gazes…why does it feel like I am Zhang Xingke?”
Xu Tingsheng came to the computer and had a look. There was a similar thread on the forums of virtually all the universities as well as the main forum of the academy city. This thread had induced an intense flurry of discussion, thus having become a hot topic on these forum sites.
After reading the contents of the main post, Xu Tingsheng’s face turned red, “No wonder they’re looking at me with such gazes.”
The post was actually about just that single incident, the one when Xu Tingsheng had previously continuously sealed Gu Yan’s home tutor account on the platform for no rhyme or reason. In order to become Xiang Ning’s home tutor, Xu Tingsheng had indeed been rather ‘insane’ back then.
This post narrated the course of the entire matter, also having added a few lines after. The crux was in these few lines, in which the other party was purposefully trying to muddle one’s senses.
1. The so-called free platform is merely a means with which to tie down the student home tutors. When they have grasped sufficient parental resources and established a monopoly, all the student home tutors will be nothing but money-making tools in their eyes. You’ve got to be obedient, or otherwise, your account will be sealed, with no reason required for it at all.
2. According to our knowledge, Gu Yan is a first year university student with a poor family background who is working diligently to make ends meet, all her living expenses as well as school fees being reliant on home tutoring. Thus, how are Hucheng’s actions different from smashing her rice bowl, breaking off her route to living? Does a platform like this even have a conscience?
3. What did Gu Yan do wrong? Should we allow impoverished students to be bullied just like that? Is it also wrong for us to work hard to be self-sufficient?
4. According to our knowledge, the one who was competing for the same home tutor position as Gu Yan was a Hucheng personnel. Also, he won. How did he win? We believe no explanation is needed.
5. Can we still continue to place our trust in such a platform?
The post intentionally overlooked the fact that Gu Yan’s account had swiftly been unsealed. However, this was actually no longer important. More important was how they had employed an idea that was sufficient for leveraging on the wills of many: Poor university students have been bullied.
Be they poor themselves or just acquainted with impoverished classmates, even if this was completely unrelated to they themselves, this idea would still be enough to rile up the fury of most university students.
Xu Tingsheng scrolled down the thread and read the replies. Almost the entire screen was filled with the explosive righteous indignation of university students. They were chastised and cursed at, with many people even indicating that they were willing to stand up for Gu Yan and go smash Hucheng.
Even while there were occasionally a few who spoke up for Hucheng, these were very quickly overwhelmed by the furious crowds.
The fault for this evidently lay with Xu Tingsheng.
“That’s too shameless,” Xu Tingsheng forced out a smile, “This Zhang Xingke is really too shameless. See, he’s clearly just talking rubbish.”
Everyone ignored him apart from their stares along the line of ‘You unbecoming wastrel’, ‘You calamity’ and ‘Look at what you’ve gone and done now’ that they all directed at him.
“It’s fortunate that the matter of the 5-Star home tutor wasn’t exposed,” Old Wai sighed.
“Someone mentioned it later on in the thread,” Li Linlin said.
“…” Xu Tingsheng scratched his head, the sins that he carried having gone up yet further.
“Xu Tingsheng, what do we do?” Lu Zhixin’s furious gaze met his.
“I want to think first. I’m going to the toilet,” Xu Tingsheng evaded Lu Zhixin’s gaze, fleeing outside.
“How about I give Gu Yan a call and ask her? Maybe I can get her to help?” Li Linlin yelled at him from behind.
“Let’s wait a few days first,” Xu Tingsheng said as he thought of Gu Yan.
That was an extremely valiant female warrior. If this post had been of her own intentions or if she was willing to cooperate with Zhang Xingke, it wouldn’t be of use even if Li Linlin called her and pleaded with her.