SWFM 176

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Chapter 176: Bastard

 

Lu Zhixin moved back into the riverside residence.

When Xu Tingsheng returned to the riverside residence that day, he saw someone with butt stuck out and face pressed close to the ground as she extended her hand beneath the sofa with great difficulty, sweeping out a whole bunch of cigarette butts as well as empty liquor bottles. Then, she painstakingly used a cloth to wipe over the area.

With Lu Zhixin’s 1.7m build, her actions were instead restricted, her movements burdensome.

Perhaps because she felt that there shouldn’t be anyone coming right now, she cared not about her dishevelled hair in the least, having no image so to speak of as she focused earnestly on cleaning up the area. Once in a while, she would clench her teeth and complain a little. Once in a while, she would sing some lyrics off-tune as she entertained herself.

Seldom seeing her as ‘unglamorous’ as this, Xu Tingsheng stood at the doorway and watched her for a while rather interestedly, “Not bad, it’s really somewhat like she can act as a goddess descended from heaven, whilst also able to be a housewife.”

Finally, getting up as she was about to go to the toilet to wash the cloth, Lu Zhixin discovered Xu Tingsheng who was standing at the doorway.

“You…just arrived?”

Lu Zhixin rather panickedly wiped her face with the back of her hand, more black stains thereby appearing on her face.

“I’ve been watching for a while,” Xu Tingsheng said cheerily, “Who would have known? You’re pretty capable.”

“Oh…huh, for a while?”

Lu Zhixin thought of her utterly unglamorous look from just earlier, and also the off-tune singing, and also…the way her butt had stuck out, in those shorts that she was wearing…this was totally different from how she had taken the initiative and teased Xu Tingsheng that day.

“Xu Tingsheng.”

“Huh?”

“Bastard.”

Without any prior warning whatsoever, a red-faced Lu Zhixin threw the blackened cloth she was holding towards Xu Tingsheng in embarrassment and anger.

Fortunately, Xu Tingsheng reached out and caught the cloth, blowing away the dust that had flown by his mouth as he said, “You don’t have to work so hard, right? We’ve swept through the place once already, and those places all can’t be seen. Also, you just…I didn’t see anything that I shouldn’t have seen. Is there a need to feel so wronged?”

Lu Zhixin could not rebut that last sentence of Xu Tingsheng’s, for it was not like she could say: My butt was sticking out like that, didn’t you see it?

Therefore, a rather infuriated Lu Zhixin caught on those earlier words of his, questioning, “You’ve swept it? Also, those places that can’t be seen-smell it yourself, isn’t it smelly? I had to spray air freshener a few times, did you know? And look at this sofa, how dirty is it? It’s fortunate that I added an extra sofa cover over it, or perhaps we’d have to throw the whole thing away.”

“Also, look there, and there. What are these things? Those bones are all about to rot…don’t you feel disgusted by it? You’re not allowed to bring people over to watch football again next time.”

Xu Tingsheng listened earnestly before smiling, “Heh, who would have thought that you actually have such a shrewish side? It really can’t be seen from how you usually are. This is great, I won’t have to worry about you being bullied by your husband when you’re married in the future.”

Having gotten over her anger, an exasperated Lu Zhixin felt like rolling her eyes. The image that she had initially displayed before Xu Tingsheng was the same one that she maintained before outsiders. Cool to the point of being a little aloof whilst also elegant and dignified…the image that Xu Tingsheng had of her was already diverging more and more from that right now.

“Go and sweep your own room,” Lu Zhixin did not answer Xu Tingsheng as she just pointed towards his room.

Over this period of time, Lu Zhixin’s room had been locked tight. Meanwhile, there were many people who had slept inside Xu Tingsheng’s room.

“There’s no need to, right? It’s not like I’m living here. I’ve applied to continue staying in the dorms along with Fu Cheng and the others over the summer holidays,” Xu Tingsheng said.

“But it’s smelly, and I feel disgusted just thinking about it. Can you just please go and sweep it? Change the sheets, cases and whatnot, I’ve bought you new ones. They’re on the table inside.”

Lu Zhixin was virtually pleading to him with tears in her eyes. Xu Tingsheng could only listen to her and sweep his room clean. Then, he helped Lu Zhixin to clean up some other areas. They busied themselves for the entire afternoon before finally managing to restore things somewhat.

Finally, the two plopped down on the ground, exhausted and heaving for breath.

“I hadn’t expected that not only are you good at business, you even know how to do housework. You’re even pretty experienced at it,” Xu Tingsheng told Lu Zhixin sincerely.

“When I was young, My Dad was busy, so I always had to take care of myself. I could already cook when I was eight, just not as well as you. When I was twelve, I began helping my Dad to watch over the store…also, the shrewish you were taling about. At that time, our toilets, drains and whatnot were all shared with many other neighbours. We also all cooked in the corridors. If I hadn’t known how to be shrewish and kick up ruckuses, as a little girl, I would have been bullied to death,” Lu Zhixin did not look at Xu Tingsheng as she spoke in a tone that lacked emotion.

Xu Tingsheng didn’t answer, certainly not being as foolish as to ask ‘What about your mother then’, for such could already be determined from her words. Lu Zhixin had unconsciously told Xu Tingsheng a side of her that was completely different from the her he knew and her past life.

“Maybe she isn’t always like how she acts before other people. Maybe her calculative nature, her ruthless methods as well as her resolve and abilities are not all that hard to understand.”
……

Hucheng was already becoming busier and busier in its daily operations. Fortunately, Lu Zhixin had had the foresight to specifically hire a few Accounting and Managment personnel during their mass recruitment. Like this, they could basically leave the matters of the training institute to their employees to handle.

While the ‘Hundred Cities plan’ sounded incomparably grand, when looked at in close detail, it was actually just a somewhat expanded version of the previous Nine Cities plan.

The one in charge of implementing the plan was Lu Zhixin who took charge at both the riverside reisdence and the training insititute. Old Wai stayed behind to keep an eye on the IT department while Li Linlin oversaw the customer service department as well as the department that checked and confirmed the information registered on the platform.

Xu Tingsheng himself was in charge of the most tiring part, that which truly required him to personally head out to other places.

Currently, Hucheng urgently needed to plan for establishing training institutes in the other eight cities aside from Yanzhou where it operated. This would definitely profit them immensely in the future.

It was this that Xu Tingsheng had tasked himself with.

Due to his responsibility towards the students and Hucheng’s image, Xu Tingsheng had to personally go down for a on site investigation for virtually every single one of those organisations that approached them hoping for cooperation.

For those that had to be rejected, he would reject them however much money they offered him.

For those that he might be able to acquire, he would first covertly plan for such future possibilities.

Of those around Xu Tingsheng, Fang Yuqing and Fang Chen severely lacked a sense of ownership while Huang Yaming who had not participated much in Hucheng’s affairs all along had gone to Tianyi…

Xu Tingsheng could only begin a hectic life of travel alongside Fu Cheng and two other employees.

Fu Cheng unexpectedly requested to travel everywhere along with Xu Tingsheng on his own accord. Most of the time, he would solitarily walk amidst the entire city everywhere he went. After Xu Tingsheng had finished his matters on hand, he would follow him to the next city.

He was searching for her.

Xu Tingsheng would return to Yanzhou once every five to six days to recover from his exertions.

In talking business over this period of time, the wine culture of the country was still inescapable. Fortunately, both the employees he had brought along were pretty good at drinking, and Fu Cheng could also help once in a while. Due to money, even Xu Tingsheng himself had to drink a little more from time to time.

If he didn’t often step on the brakes for this kind of lifestyle, Hucheng still having yet to develop, Xu Tingsheng himself would already first have collapsed.

Xu Tingsheng would bring back quite a few things every time he returned. Every so often, some of his customers would give him some gifts such that he would ‘take care of’ them or give them ‘priority’. Otherwise, they would just feel uneasy.

There were gifts of all kinds. Perhaps because Xu Tingsheng was a young man and it was in consideration of him trying to pick up chicks or perhaps because they were well informed and knew that Hucheng Education had a female boss rumoured to possess even greater authority than him, her word standing as law, some would intentionally think out of the box and prepare some gifts for women from time to time.

Regarding this, Xu Tingsheng would keep what was unisex or for men and dump it in his room when he returned to be used if so required. Whoever around him wanted them, they could just take it.

As for the female items, those branded handbags, vases and whatnot, seeing that Xiang Ning was still young, Xu Tingsheng would give them all to Lu Zhixin after having returned home.

It is very difficult for men to understand women and their passion for branded handbags. Even despite Lu Zhixin’s mild personality and wealthy background, she would still be excited and overjoyed by some exceptionally favoured ones.

The good thing about this was that Lu Zhixin was smiling more and more in front of Xu Tingsheng, their interactions no longer being so ‘heavy’ and serious. She would no longer say with a stiff face every time Xu Tingsheng returned, “Xu Tingsheng, I have some opinions on the prices and durations of these pieces of businesses you’ve accepted. Let’s talk.”

One must know that this was how Hucheng’s employees usually comforted themselves after having been taught a lesson by Lu Zhixin, “So what? Even our boss, Xu Tingsheng, often receives a scolding, right? This is no biggie at all!”

This day, Lu Zhixin happily returned to her room with two of the gifts that Xu Tingsheng had brought back.

A short while later, she stormed out of her room with one of them, an intricate box, in her hand. She stood in front of Xu Tingsheng, glaring at him. From the looks of it, she also appeared kind of wretched aside from being furious.

“What? You don’t have to be angry even if you don’t like it,” Xu Tingsheng said.

“Bastard.”

Lu Zhixin mightily dumped the box in Xu Tingsheng’s hands, turned and left.

“The heck, what kind of temper is this…also, can you scold anything else apart from bastard?” Xu Tingsheng muttered to himself.

“Pervert,” Lu Zhixin’s voice resounded from outside the door through clenched teeth.

Apparently, she had not gone far. Only after having scolded him like this did her footsteps as she ascended the stairs resound.

“What’s up with this…can’t she say it directly?” Xu Tingsheng muttered as he opened the exceptionally intricately designed box from where he could see that Lu Zhixin had opened it…it was a small cloth, and still a small cloth. It was thin, and it was lace.

“The heck…perverted.”

Xu Tingsheng knew what the box contained. It was…a set of kinky underwear.

“The heck…which training institute sent this? This sick pervert, we’ve definitely got to end our cooperation immediately…”

After a while, Xu Tingsheng calmed himself and thought for a bit. Then, he carefully resealed the gift box with tape and brought it upstairs.

“Old Wai, come here for a bit. I’ve brought you a present.”

“For me?”

“For you to give to Linlin.”

“No need, we always take some of the stuff that you’ve brought back.”

“This is different. You’ve got to tell Linlin that you bought this specially for her yourself, alright? For things like presents, things you took from me and things you carefully picked yourself hold completely different significance.”

“That’s true. Thanks then, Bro Xu. What’s this?”

“It’s to help the two of you to improve your relationship.”
……

The next morning, Old Wai came to the office early and searched all around but to no avail.

“Where’s Xu Tingsheng?” Old Wai asked with tears in his eyes.

“He left on a business trip early this morning. What, is there something?” Lu Zhixin asked puzzledly.

“Nah, it’s nothing,” Old Wai could only limp slowly away in silence.


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