Chapter 151: On the path
It was close to May.
Xiang Ning was preparing for her mid-terms. Xu Tingsheng seemed even more nervous about this than he had been for his own university entrance examinations. Mr Xu became more serious, and sterner as well.
Xiang Ning was gradually also getting used to this Uncle Liar who had originally doted endlessly on her having become Mr Xu who loved to tell on her, glare at her and punish her with memorising and writing contents down from memory.
Comparatively speaking, the respect and fear towards a teacher that she now felt towards him was far easier to stomach than the earlier fear from being unable to understand his motivations.
Hucheng Education had also already embarked on its Nine Cities expansion plan. The so-called Nine Cities referred to the other eight cities of Jianhai Province apart from Yanzhou. It included Jianan City where Xu Tingsheng’s hometown was as well as the mega-city, Shenghai City that was also close by.
Borrowing Xu Tingsheng’s previous ‘limitless glory’ as well as the puzzle game which they had uploaded, the platform which was advertised as being free surged through the roof in popularity in all the nine cities, the number of registered users unceasingly increasing. This was especially so for Shenghai City and Xihu City which had high populations as well a a shocking amount of university students. The number of registered users there easily surpassed that at Hucheng’s home ground, Yanzhou City itself, within a short amount of time.
The sole regret was that Hucheng temporarily still lacked the ability to establish its own training institutes in all of these places. At the end of the day, Hucheng Education just lacked money.
Even so, Xu Tingsheng still continuously turned down a few investment offers. The current Hucheng was still unable to gain sufficient recognition that matched the amount he had in mind.
Nearing the end of April, the first economic-based media entity reported ‘exaggeratedly’ on Hucheng’s bright future, believing that as soon as Hucheng began charging fees, opening up other channels of revenue at the same time, its yearly profits could amount to upward of twenty million per year. Hucheng was portrayed here as a target with immense investment potential.
Yet, this seemingly ‘exaggerated’ figure was actually still far from Xu Tingsheng’s projected expectations.
There was a good thing about working through the Internet. When standing someplace, you could extend your perspective very far away.
Of course, the number of Hucheng’s employees had also increased greatly ever since the implementation of the Nine Cities expansion plan. The original office was split into two parts. The part-time students continued working in the riverside residence. After Zhong Wusheng and Tao Jiaxiu had gone to Libei, Xu Tingsheng had rented the first floor of the riverside residence as well.
The other group of specialised employees, teachers and part-time secondary school teachers went to work over at Hucheng’s training institute. Tang Guangyi was moved by Xu Tingsheng’s extended sincerity, not participating in management as he just remained in charge of education at the training institute.
The platform still didn’t begin charging fees. However, the days of Hucheng being a sinkhole of funds finally still ceased. The training institute having begun recruiting students on a large scale, this would lead to a partial source of income. More importantly, the platform had welcomed its first education materials publisher.
At the current time, Dangdang which had been established in the year 1999 had already been in operation for a good number of years. People had gradually formed the habit of purchasing books online. Adding on the fact that there was a greater discount for the books purchased over the platform than for those bought at the actual stores, with the sales also being extremely targeted and active, the sales figures skyrocketed unceasingly like an erupting geyser.
The second, the third. When the third publishing house joined, Hucheng was already able to completely break even solely from ‘selling books’.
Unexpectedly, just a month after his visit to Yanzhou, Mr Xu wired two million yuan over to Xu Tingsheng. At the current time, Happy Shoppers already had ten stores directly under it, along with twenty franchise stores which were currently still in the midst of frenetic preparation.
In the ‘negotiations’ with the suppliers, the rapidly growing Happy Shoppers gradually began holding the dominant position.
Happy Shoppers’ money-making capacity actually exceeded the current Hucheng. Just those ten supermarkets directly under them alone brought them around two million yuan in profit every month. It was also due to his rapidly increasing influence that Mr Xu had become a member of Libei County’s government.
“I’m finally going to have money. I’m finally going to become a rich second gen,” Xu Tingsheng thought ‘blissfully’.
Zhang Xingke gave Xu Tingsheng a call, laughing bitterly, “I’ve been expelled. Still, that Management Head Zhao also shouldn’t have it good. You probably won’t see him in Yanzhou University again.”
Xu Tingsheng didn’t know how he should respond.
“If I had known about this initially, I would have taken that five percent. Xu Tingsheng, Xishan Tower’s Xu Tingsheng, hahahaha…it was no fluke that I lost. I’m leaving, seeya,” Zhang Xingke concluded.
“To you, a paper qualification isn’t actually worth much. I believe that you will definitely stand back up. Hopefully, we won’t be enemies the next time we meet. Fare thee well, senior. Take care,” Xu Tingsheng finally responded.
The business arena was like a battlefield, the victors the kings and the losers the scoundrels. There actually wasn’t any right or wrong to this.
Apple had already finished singing new versions of all of Rebirth’s previous songs apart from <You Knit A Woolen Sweater For A Freaking Fool>. Currently, she had taken a break off school as she was running around doing endless commercial performances.
Xu Tingsheng had conversed with her over the phone a few times before. Whenever he brought up the matter of her albums and new songs, Apple always fell silent.
She wasn’t happy, yet dared not tell Xu Tingsheng so.
“Mum’s returned to take care of Grandma. I think that I should be able to bring the two of them over early next year. After that, I’d like to spend more time accompanying them at home.”
“Xu Tingsheng, there are so many things about you now. I search your name every day, and can always look at it for a long, long time. I will feel happy at your success, but also worry…however hard I work, it still feels as though I can never keep up with your footsteps,” Apple said.
Amidst endless cries by the public and the media to ‘dig!’, the world of academia had actually yet to come to any agreement regarding Cao Cao’s mausoleum. Yan Zhengyu presided domineeringly over all his opponents, his momentum like the sun in the sky.
“Thank you for your efforts, Teacher,” Once, Xu Tingsheng called him and said.
“This old man delights in the prospect,” Yan Zhenyu laughed.
As the debates progressed, some academics gradually began leaping into Yan Zhenyu’s battle trench, fighting alongside him as they counterattacked doubts and argued for their side’s views.
Some of these new additions might indeed hold the same view, but there were more who were doing so in speculation. The dark side of academia was something most of the general public would not be able to understand. Plagiarism, speculation and stealing the results of others’ research-none of these had ever stopped before.
Recently, some people had already begun making their moves non-stop, preparing to forcibly wrest away the research result of the ‘discovery of Cao Cao’s mausoleum’.
The massive upheaval that Xu Tingsheng had caused on campus was gradually easing with time. Apart from the home tutoring and part of Hucheng’s affairs that he just had to participate in, he still diligently attended lessons, left lessons, went to the cafeteria to eat and went back to his dormitory to sleep, living the life of a normal university student.
It was just that as people gradually discovered that the relationship between he and Lu Zhixin was far from what was rumoured, some girls soon started calling out to him as he walked:
“Go for it, Xu Tingsheng!”
“Xu Tingsheng, I’ve registered on the platform! I’m called XXX XXX.”
“Thanks,” Xu Tingsheng could only ever reply.