SWFM 204

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Chapter 204: A flat that is no longer a dream

 

This high fever was like the final death throes of the fever demon as following it, Xu Tingsheng’s temperature basically returned to normal, just that his body was a little weaker.

The next morning, it was actually dark outside. However, as Xu Tingsheng woke up and opened his eyes, he could see sunlight in Apple who was in the midst of busily preparing breakfast. Just like how it had once been in the past, she was radiant.

After eating breakfast, Apple excitedly followed Lu Zhixin up to the office.

Still, she came back down just after a while, awkwardly sticking out her tongue at Xu Tingsheng as she gazed at him, “I discovered that I was stifled to death. So, I decided to catch up on sleep first. I’ll begin learning from Zhixin in the afternoon…is that okay?”

Xu Tingsheng could actually feel better assured like this than if she had adamantly insisted on learning from Lu Zhixin despite not feeling up to it.

“Of course it’s okay. You didn’t sleep at all last night,” Xu Tingsheng said.

“What about you?” Apple asked.

“I’ll have a chat with Mum and Dad for a bit before bringing them over for a proper look at Hucheng’s situation.”

“Right. Don’t worry about me,” Apple said slyly before entering her room, “I won’t leave the door unlocked for you then.”

“Oh, you can. Mum and Dad might leave after a while,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, replying.

“I don’t want to. Might get caught by Mum. Also, you’d better not tell them that I’m sleeping! Otherwise, they’re going to think that I’m lazy,” Apple closed the door before the sound of it being locked could be heard.

After a while, Xu Tingsheng pressed his ear against the door and listened. The sound of her calm, steady breathing was faintly audible.

Mr and Mrs Xu had come over after eating breakfast at the day market. Xu Tingsheng brought them directly to his office, spending more than an hour explaining Hucheng’s current financial situation as well as development plans to Mr Xu.

It felt a little like when he had attained the ‘three good’ student award when he was young as he proudly and yearningly waited for his parents to praise him.

In the end, Mrs Xu said, “Don’t let it affect your studies. Your studies are still the most important. I saw that you only scored sixty plus marks for quite a few subjects last semester.”

Xu Tingsheng had no way to rebut his mother, telling her that in university…sixty marks was already plenty sufficient.

After viewing the office at the riverside residence, Xu Tingsheng sat down together with Mr Xu. He mentioned real estate as well as his intention to invest in it to his father for the first time.

Mr Xu pondered silently for a while before saying, “Actually, there have also been quite a few people looking for me to work together in this area recently. However, I looked around and found that the general populace already feels the price of real estate to be too high now. I checked it out on the internet and everyone was saying that real estate market is about to crash terribly, collapsing. Because of that, I’m still rather hesitant.”

This sort of ‘collapse theory’ had actually existed ever since the nation’s real estate prices had begun shooting up. The higher they rose, the more widespread as well as intense it became.

But in the end? The naysayers had continued to naysay, identifying critical tipping points one after another, while the real estate prices had continued skyrocketing, unreasonably crushing each and every one of these critical tipping points regardless.

Xu Tingsheng had once been a believer of the ‘collapse theory’. It wasn’t because it was all that believable or well backed up. Instead, it was a form of self-consolation as he just could not be resigned to it not being otherwise. Many people actually thought like this as well, waving their flags as they yelled how the great collapse could come at any moment, meanwhile waiting with hearts full of anticipation…if the market crashes, I’ll be able to afford a house.

Then, he had painstakingly saved up 1000+ yuan every month, yet was only able to watch on helplessly as the real estate prices continued shooting up crazily all the way. His money that would have been able to pay for ten square meters initially…finally couldn’t even buy three square metres anymore.

Perhaps the market had indeed crashed afterwards. However, in the memories of Xu Tingsheng that went on till the year 2015, at least, such was all just empty talk at the end of the day.

“Dad, I know all this. Still, I believe that not only will the market not crash, it will instead boom, rising to a very great extent as well,” Xu Tingsheng said in an incomparably firm, certain tone.

“How certain are you?”

“Ninety percent…eighty.”

“In business, sixty is enough.”

“Therefore, I wish to give it a go.”

“Libei?”

“Assets flow too slowly in Libei; the snowball wouldn’t be able to accumulate easily. I intend to test out the waters in Yanzhou first.”

“Since it’s just testing the waters, don’t go in too fiercely the first time.”

“I know.”

“Should I do a little on my side too?” Seeing Xu Tingsheng so certain, Mr Xu asked hesitantly.

“You should,” Xu Tingsheng said.

Xu Tingsheng actually hoped that it would be the Xu Family who expanded in this area. He was actually venturing into real estate solely for the money. Meanwhile, his interest in the profession itself was completely incomparable to his interest in Hucheng.

“But Happy Shoppers’ current capital utilisation rate is actually very high, you’re aware of that. Channelling funds away and investing it in real estate instead-would that really be necessary? Would the returns be higher that way?” Mr Xu asked.

While Xu Tingsheng was certainly aware that Hucheng was currently in the midst of accumulating a snowball, he still said with the utmost certainty, “If our discernment in the specific choice of land and cities is rather more precise, there shouldn’t be any problem then.”

This was actually equivalent to saying that there definitely wouldn’t be a problem, for in terms of ‘discernment’, there was no one who would be more precise than Xu Tingsheng. Back when he had been passionately yearning for a flat, Xu Tingsheng had done a great amount of research into various aspects. He was even aware of the exact prices of many small districts for these next few years.

“I know that your eye has always been good. Still, I’ve really been struck rather dizzy by what you’ve just said. Will it really continue to rise? And to that great an extent?” Mr Xu asked him.

Xu Tingsheng smiled bitterly, “I feel that real estate prices will soar to a frightening extent, leaving many helpless to bear the burden, causing most youngsters to lose their dreams.”

The reason Xu Tingsheng had smiled bitterly as he said this was that he knew that even as this was an immense opportunity, it was simultaneously an immense tragedy as well. The greatest price their countrymen would ultimately have to pay for the skyrocketing of real estate prices was actually the loss of the younger generation’s dreams.

The younger generation’s dreams would thereon change from creating things and their youthful aspirations to wanting to own a flat.

The younger generation would thereon lose their vitality, because just having entered society, they would have to be like middle-aged uncles, bearing the weight of their entire families on their shoulders. They would have to pay the housing loan, then feed those mouths with what little remained.

Flats would even cause love to become laughable to some extent.

Wu Xiubo had said afterwards, “Back then, falling in love with someone wasn’t because you had a car and a flat. It was because the sunlight that afternoon was great, and you just happened to be wearing a white shirt.”

Xu Tingsheng stood before the path leading from ‘back then’ towards ‘afterwards’, helpless to change anything, also not intending to change anything.

Standing amidst the flow of a river, however strong one was, he or she would still simply be able to cause some waves at most. It would be impossible for them to reverse the flow of those tides which surged turbulently no matter what.

The sole possibility was that you might merely have been able to frolic about by the riverbank originally, watching the tides arise, maybe even having been one of those overturned by them. But now, there was the possibility of riding at the head of the tide.

After Xu Tingsheng had chatted with his father for another hour and more, Lu Zhixin came downstairs, telling him, “Principal Tang just called again, asking if you’re still conducting the lesson over at the training institute. You didn’t come last time, and many students and parents called and gave feedback about it. Principal Tang says that if you’ve decided not to come, tell it to him definitively, and he will think of a way to explain it to those students and parents.”

Xu Tingsheng remembered Mr Xiang’s previous words, “Little Ning still has two weeks of lessons at the training institute remaining. We’d originally intended for her not to go, but you know how stubborn children are…there’s no way for us to get this to her straight…so, we can only find you, hoping that you…won’t teach Little Ning anymore.”

Xu Tingsheng was silent for a while. He decided to refuse.

Mr Xu asked, “You’re fine already, right? If you’re fine, don’t disappoint the kids and the parents. I’d also wanted to go take a look at the training institute anyway, watching you conduct a lesson as well…you haven’t graduated yourself, and you can already teach?”

Mr Xu having said so, Xu Tingsheng could only acquiesce as he told Lu Zhixin, “I’ll conduct the afternoon lesson. Then, as for next week…we’ll see then.”


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