Chapter 192: That Golden Retriever, Dongdong (1)
The lesson conducted by Xu Tingsheng was rather special. It was known as ‘one subject one knowledge point’, with a single specific part of a topic set to be discussed every time. This kept things from being boring. Adding on Xu Tingsheng’s identity as well as foundations, there were many students who had registered for this course.
From having been in one-to-one tutoring with Xu Tingsheng to listening to him in class along with other students, Little Xiang Ning initially felt excited at the novelty of it all. Xu Tingsheng’s image seemed to have grown even greater, as if he were really her teacher.
Then, there was also pride.
Aside from Xu Tingsheng’s identity as a member of Rebirth, he was also the boss of Hucheng, also having won Awards of Bravery before, also having discovered Cao Cao’s Mausoleum. All this information was easily available to the general public, being filled with a miraculous appeal. Also, his teaching style was humorous and warm as he was very well received by the students.
Sometimes, whilst watching him during lessons or in between lessons when she would hear the other students discussing him, especially when she heard her female classmates and girls from other schools bringing him up non-stop, praising him, trying to think of a way to talk with him…
Little Xiang Ning would feel proud, as if her heart harboured an incomparable secret that rivalled the heavens: The person conducting this lesson whom all you people have to wrack your brains in order to find an excuse to speak to…is my Uncle Liar.
More and more people after Su Nannan now knew that Xu Tingsheng was Xiang Ning’s home tutor, only teaching she and she alone.
Many people felt envious at how lucky she was. The kids went home and told their parents, who began calling Hucheng non-stop to enquire if Xu Tingsheng was still accepting home tutor jobs.
Hucheng refused them all on his behalf. The more the other students were dejected at this, the more Little Xiang Ning felt secretly triumphant with this sense of ‘exclusivity’, feeling happy that of so many people, he only taught her, doted on her.
Su Nannan had even suspected that Xu Tingsheng was one of Rebirth’s members once. She had seen him up close when she had sent the guitar up to the stage that day…she felt that he looked very similar, secretively coming to ask Xiang Ning about it one day.
Little Xiang Ning really wanted to say: It is him! He actually came during the school anniversary just to celebrate my birthday for me.
But Uncle had said that day, “Shhh, secret.”
So, she couldn’t tell her.
Little Xiang Ning waited for Xu Tingsheng to wear that shirt she had bought him to the training institute. However, one week, two weeks, three weeks passed and she had still yet to see him wear it there. She called and asked about it. He said he had been wearing just T-shirts recently.
“The other students all say that you’re very wealthy now. Could it be that that shirt is too cheap, costing only 30 yuan, and that’s why you’re not wearing it?” Little Xiang Ning asked.
She didn’t know that that 30 yuan shirt was actually being treated as his most treasured item, wrapped up in layers upon layers and carefully stowed away.
“Will you still be tutoring me after school reopens then?” Little Xiang Ning asked.
Xu Tingsheng said, “Someone will replace me when I’m busy. When I’m not busy, I’ll come.”
Little Xiang Ning asked, “Will you be very busy then?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Maybe.”
Little Xiang Ning said, “But you weren’t busy last semester. I hate you.”
Pride was gradually replaced by desolation. Little Xiang Ning found that Uncle seemed to treat her no differently from his other students now. He didn’t pay her special care, didn’t buy seafood noodles or fried dumplings for her, didn’t even speak more to her…
He seldom chose her to answer questions, even though her hand was already raised so high.
Little Xiang Ning began sulking in secret, no longer looking for Uncle to speak with, seeing who would be first to cave in. During their tutoring sessions in the past, if Uncle was fierce to her, she would also sulk, and Uncle would always cave in eventually, ending up trying to coax her.
Uncle never caved in this time.
Xu Tingsheng was actually having a very hard time reining himself in.
For example, he actually still looked forward to those two lessons every week, looked forward to seeing her. He designed each lesson to be as humorous and interesting as possible, because she would laugh then, her giggling as clear as it was in the past, not virtuous at all yet so cute.
Every time he got home, however, Apple would gaze at him like a yearning wife whose husband had finally returned home, her face full of happiness and bliss. Xu Tingsheng was everything to the current her.
Therefore, despite how Little Xiang Ning questioned him, was in a huff with him, there was just no way for him to coax her.
“She’s still a little kid,” Xu Tingsheng would always console himself this way.
Xu Tingsheng received a call from Xiang Ning when he was gardening with Apple that weekend.
“Hoho, it looks like she’s not sulking anymore.”
Sweetness still involuntarily arose within his heart. Xu Tingsheng told Apple before going out and receiving the call.
“Dongdong’s caused trouble. They won’t let us go…”
‘Dongdong’ was the Xiang Family’s Golden Retriever. Xiang Ning was sobbing as she spoke.
“Where are you? I’ll be right there,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Xiang Ning told him her location. She was at a park in the city.
“Apple, I’ve got to go out for a while,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Seldom seeing Xu Tingsheng as nervous and panicked as this, Apple was rather worried, “Is something wrong?”
“…A part-time teacher at the training institute is looking for me,” Xu Tingsheng lied.
“Okay, be safe then.”
“I’ll make a call in a bit and ask Yuqing to come over and accompany you.”
“Yeah. See you later then.”
Xu Tingsheng could clearly feel Apple’s unease. However, he really had no time to waste now.
On the taxi, Xu Tingsheng first gave Yuqing a call and asked her to help accompany Apple before beginning to unceasingly dial Xiang Ning’s number…
Apparently, Xiang Ning had gone to the park with Su Nannan today, having brought ‘Dongdong’ along with her. Then, a woman passed by with a Chihuahua on her leash. The little Chihuahua was actually very fierce, continually barking frenziedly towards the Golden Retriever that was much bigger than it.
Su Nannan had not been able to keep a hold on the leash. Dongdong had lunged forward, and the woman leading the Chihuahua had fallen down, her elbows, knees and whatnot all bleeding from the resulting impact.
“Did Dongdong bite anyone?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“No, but we’ve got to pay them money. They won’t let us go,” Little Xiang Ning said.
“Okay, wait for me. Don’t be scared, tell them that a grownup will be right there to give them their money.”
“Don’t cry, everything’s okay.”
“Yeah, Uncle. Hurry up and come.”
After having called, Xu Tingsheng could instead relax a little. From Xiang Ning’s words, it was merely that the other party wanted a grownup to come over and discuss the matter of medical fees due to their sustained injuries. It would only be a matter of a few thousand yuan at most.
But because Xiang Ning was crying, was afraid, Xu Tingsheng gave the driver additional money, “Mister, please hurry up a little. I’ll foot the fines for you if any, double the amount,” He promised.
Finally arriving at the park, Xu Tingsheng ran over to Xiang Ning’s location.
The scene that appeared before his eyes was completely different from what he had previously anticipated. There was a handful of young teenage hooligans with dyed yellow hair on one side. On the other stood a man and a woman with over ten big, burly men standing behind them.
Xiang Ning and Su Nannan were off by the side, huddling close together and sobbing.
Xu Tingsheng went in for a closer look.
He first gave Chen Jianxing of Yanzhou Nightly a call. As the news agency was rather close to the park, Chen Jianxing said that he would be there right away.
Then, Xu Tingsheng dialled Fang Yuqing’s number.
“Yuqing, hurry up and call some people over to Hebin Park. Hurry it up, but don’t act rashly after you’ve arrived. It’s just in case the people here are not good to talk with,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“What level of people are they?” Fang Yuqing asked, feeling that with Xu Tingsheng’s current status, things must really be unordinary for him to reach the extent of having to call people over.
“There’re more than ten people over here. And from the looks of it, the watch on that person’s hand must be worth over a hundred thousand,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Understood,” Fang Yuqing replied.