Chapter 178: The road to a Buddha
Dexin had sent close to ten employees over to receive Xu Tingsheng. Zhang Xingke was standing at the back of their group. After exhibiting some slight shock, he shook his head slightly towards Xu Tingsheng who had been just been about to call out to him in greeting.
Xu Tingsheng could only lower his hand that he had just been about to raise.
Dexin’s principal-cum-boss introduced a few people beside him to Xu Tingsheng. However, he didn’t mention Zhang Xingke who was standing by a corner. Thus, Xu Tingsheng and his ‘old’ rival didn’t even greet each other at all.
That day, Xu Tingsheng saw a completely different Zhang Xingke.
In just a few short months’ time, the originally arrogant and overbearing Zhang Xingke who had even appeared a little egoistic before had completely vanished. Currently, the feeling he gave to those who had not been familiar with him before would be one of an honest, even slightly subservient person.
Yet, Xu Tingsheng knew of Zhang Xingke’s past. He had once been a legendary figure of Xishan Academy City who could summon the winds and the clouds, a capable figure who had already been able to earn millions even without having graduated from university.
Therefore, it was admiration that Xu Tingsheng currently felt. He admired Zhang Xingke’s ability to adapt and change. Having suffered a loss, he had become mature and more restrained following a few short months, even emanating a perfectly primed feeling of being ‘harmless to both men and beasts’.
For the entire afternoon, Zhang Xingke was unceasingly called to do various miscellaneous tasks like fetching documents, calling people over and even changing the hot water. Every time he was tasked with these things, he would unhesitatingly say, “Okay!”
Then, he would move swift as the wind, enthusiastically and without the slightest word of complaint.
Xu Tingsheng still remembered that time just a few months ago at the riverside residence. Sitting on the sofa, Zhang Xingke had put up one finger after another, being adamant on obtaining fifty-one percent of Hucheng’s shares. He had told him: If I really make a move, I’m afraid you wouldn’t be able to take it.
Back then, his gaze had been determined and confident as that arrogance of his had really been a little off-putting.
Seeing the way he was now, Xu Tingsheng suddenly thought of a phrase: Able to bow whilst also seething to rebel.
In the dinner that Dexin had arranged, it was natural that wine would be had. Xu Tingsheng didn’t dare to drink too much as he placed most of his attention on Zhang Xingke. He didn’t know if it was feigned or his alcohol capacity really was sub-par, but Zhang Xingke entered a semi-drunken state very quickly.
Then, Xu Tingsheng watched on as he ‘capitalised’ on his insobriety to suck up to and praise his superiors to the high heavens, leaving all of them feeling incomparably happy and satisfied.
Zhang Xingke called for a toast to his superiors. Every time he was refused, he would still raise his glass yet again.
“In order to express my gratitude for giving me an opportunity, this toast of mine definitely has to be done! This Boss Xu, you don’t know, but if not for our Principal Zhang, I would probably be sleeping on the streets now…this debt is one that can never be repaid. Don’t you think that I should toast him?” Zhang Xingke asked solemnly.
“Then, Principal Zhang really should have a glass,” Xu Tingsheng played along.
“Since Boss Xu is saying this, alright then. One cup for me, three cups for you,” Dexin’s Principal Zhang said.
“Of course, of course. Thank you, Principal Zhang.”
Zhang Xingke straightforwardly drank three full glasses in a single go before slumping against the table to catch his breath.
After finishing the half glass of wine before him, Principal Zhang looked at Zhang Xingke who already seemed a little like he couldn’t take it as he said, “Come on, you should toast Boss Xu.”
“Right,” Zhang Xingke rubbed his face and poured the wine, clasping the glass with both hands as he stood up, “Boss Xu, let me give you a toast.”
“What ‘a’? Toasting Boss Xu, are you qualified enough to toast a cup for a cup? Hmmm…five cups for you, one cup for Boss Xu,” On Dexin’s side, an alluringly beautiful female Chairman who looked around thirty asked, “Right, Boss Xu?”
Xu Tingsheng did not respond.
“Chairman speaks rightly,” Zhang Xingke said, “Then, Boss Xu, I’ll drink first to show my respect. Wait for my five glasses; you can drink yours then.”
“We should really drink a glass for a glass. It looks like you’ve already drunk quite a bit,” Xu Tingsheng raised a hand to stop him.
“It’s fine. He’s young-it’s nothing, right? Little Zhang?” The alluringly beautiful woman said.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Zhang Xingke downed one glass after another. At the final glass, Xu Tingsheng stood up as well, clinking glasses with him.
Some time after 9pm, Dexin’s side sent Xu Tingsheng’s group to the motel that they had arranged for them.
Xu Tingsheng hadn’t drunk much that night. After Dexin’s people had all left, he shut his room door, cleaning his face with hot water. The two sides had yet to come to an agreement on the prices as well as the specifics of their cooperation. Every time he was too heavily intoxicated, Xu Tingsheng would remind himself not to make any hasty promises or decisions.
Someone knocked on the door.
Xu Tingsheng opened it. Zhang Xingke was standing outside.
“Am I interrupting?” Zhang Xingke asked.
“No. Please come in, Senior.”
Xu Tingsheng let Zhang Xingke into the room, shut the door and boiled some water to brew him some tea.
Handing a cup of tea to Zhang Xingke, he asked, “You aren’t drunk?”
“A little,” Zhang Xingke smiled, “Were you surprised seeing me here today?”
“I was a little surprised. I think that Senior should still have quite a bit of money on hand, such that there should be many things that you can do. It shouldn’t be to the extent that…”
Zhang Xingke interjected, “I already didn’t have much originally. I earned a lot those past few years, but also spent all of it without abandon. When offering you that price back then, I was mainly intimidating you…if you had really agreed, I would even have had to sell all my flats.”
Zhang Xingke laughed after he had said this.
Being rather sensitive to the idea of ‘flats’, Xu Tingsheng diverged from the main topic, “You really shouldn’t sell the houses. You should keep them and watch their prices soar on and on.”
“It’s too late. I’ve already sold them, and even went for a round on the stock market…I wanted to roll the snowball a little bigger before directly going for something big. In the end, three over million went in, but less than five hundred thousand came out,” Zhang Xingke smiled as he said.
The stock market was actually something that Xu Tingsheng was rather vexed about following his rebirth. In his previous life, he had paid very little attention to the stock market after having graduated and gone out to work, much less this still being the year 2004.
“Is the stock market in a bad state now?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“You aren’t playing it?” Zhang Xingke was rather surprised. As he saw it, amidst the current wave of popularity where everyone was investing in stocks, someone like Xu Tingsheng who possessed the capital for such yet entirely disregarded the stock market was really beyond rare.
Xu Tingsheng nodded, “I don’t know much about that.”
“That’s also a good thing, I guess,” Zhang Xingke thought for a moment before saying, “Actually, the situation can’t exactly be termed as bad. It’s just that it suddenly slid mightily downwards between April and July, almost having lost all its momentum that it gained over the past year. I think it’s still been falling these past few days.”
“Under such circumstances, those who came beforehand would have profited while those who came afterwards might fall to the very bottom. I was rather more unlucky, just having entered and exited over this period of time. It can basically be considered having suffered defeat inside.”
“Therefore, I thought about it, deciding to come back to my old trade and slowly familiarise myself with it. I ended up going to Dexin and starting out afresh,” Zhang Xingke continued.
Actually, still possessing at least five hundred thousand yuan, he definitely couldn’t be considered poor in this current era. It also wasn’t that there wasn’t anything he could do. However, for some reason, Xu Tingsheng had seen him acting very ingratiatingly in Dexin.
“You’ve got to know that I didn’t even graduate from university,” Zhang Xingke substantiated.
With that, Xu Tingsheng could basically understand his situation and why he had been acting so ingratiatingly. Even entering Dexin would not have been easy. Moreover, he wanted to enter the management level and learn about Shenghai City’s situation through Dexin, also understanding Dexin’s situation and seeing if there was a chance.
“Therefore, does Senior intend to strive on honestly and diligently to become a Chairman or a Vice-Principal of Dexin?” Xu Tingsheng smiled as he asked.
He definitely wouldn’t believe that Zhang Xingke could be satisfied as an employee of a private training institute no matter how hard he worked, how fast he was promoted, so long as he was not its boss.
“What do you think?”
Looking at Xu Tingsheng, Zhang Xingke smiled as well. Both of them knew full well the meaning behind his smile.
“Does Senior have enough money to take down Dexin?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“That’s why I’ve come to find you,” Zhang Xingke smiled, “It was me who convinced Dexin to look for you this time. Don’t you feel that they’ve been rather overly enthusiastic towards you today? The scale and set-up of Dexin actually aren’t bad. It’s just that their competition here in Shenghai City is too great. That’s why Dexin’s situation isn’t very good, why they have placed all their hopes on you this time.”
“Therefore, you can definitely open with a price of around a hundred thousand yuan tomorrow. Dexin still has fifteen hundred thousand of liquid assets in its account. If you come out with a price of ten thousand yuan, under their current circumstances where they have no other choice, they definitely will agree to it.”
“After that, you tamper slightly with the recruitment, while I do something here at Dexin as well. In two months at most, you’ll be able to come over to talk about acquisition. I hope that you will not forget about my part in this then.”
“Raising a tiger?”
“I’ll think about it…still, Hucheng has never tampered in our recruitment before.”
Hearing Xu Tingsheng say this, Zhang Xingke thought for a moment before asking totally randomly, “Do you believe in Buddhism?”
Xu Tingsheng was taken aback for a moment before he replied, “Not particularly, but yes.”
“It’s alright, it’s fine whether or not you believe in it. Still, have you ever discovered a thing like this? It always seems hard for good people to become Buddhas. They have to painstakingly cultivate for ten lifetimes, undergo endless tribulations, sacrificing their bodies and sacrificing their lives or whatnot…and they might not even achieve nirvana in the end.”
Xu Tingsheng nodded, indicating for him to continue.
“What about villains then?” Zhang Xingke looked straight at Xu Tingsheng before uttering, “Lower your blade of slaughter, Hence descends the light of nirvana.”