SWFM 268

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Chapter 268: This place owes me a beautiful house

 

Fang Yuqing drove his decrepit Volkswagen. In the car were sitting Xu Tingsheng, Huang Yaming and Tan Yao.

Following the route indicated by Xu Tingsheng, the car had already stopped at four places.

For the past two hours, the English country folk song, Five Hundred Miles, had repeatedly played in the car. This was perhaps one of the easiest English songs, with the lyrics being understandable even at junior high level.

Xu Tingsheng knew that this song would eventually be sung by someone else in the movie <Inside Llewyn Davis>, after which it would be widely known throughout the entire world.

What Fang Yuqing was concerned with was that this was a song Yuqing liked. Just two days ago, Yuqing who was currently in her fourth year of university had returned to her city to intern at a company and find a job. She would still be coming back, but their separation…was already in the cards.

“Her leaving time and again, me sending her off time and again…it’s like she wants me to hurry up and get used to it,” Similarly in his fourth year of university, a melancholic Fang Yuqing said.

“You don’t seem to like accompanying her that all much even when she’s around,” Huang Yaming commented.

“I want to accompany her now. I’m actually very afraid that she will leave,” Fang Yuqing said.

It was seldom that they saw him speaking in such a tone and manner. After speaking, he slumped down against the steering wheel.

The first time Yang Jiang and Qian Zhongshu had met, Qian Zhongshu’s first words had been, ‘I’m not engaged.’ To this, Yang Jiang had nervously answered, “I also don’t have a boyfriend.”

This was a very enviable romance and marriage. Still, this is unachievable for most people. Most of us simply deal with things as they come, only suddenly discovering afterwards an inexplicable inability to be separated from that certain someone.

What remains then is only the question of whether we are still in time or it is already too late.

The relationship between Fang Yuqing and Yuqing wasn’t enviable most of the time. Some even often felt indignation on Yuqing’s behalf. They had been together for very long, and it was only in their third year that Fang Yuqing had slowly begun to change. Now that they were in their fourth year, he discovered that he was unable to be away from Yuqingyet did not know if he could get her to stay.

The Fang family might not accept Yuqing. Even though his elder sister Fang Chen really liked her younger brother’s boyfriend, even though Fang Yuqing was ‘disobedient’ most of the time, this particular matter was not so easy to deal with.

Whatever the case, he was the sole male progeny of that branch of his family.

Fang Yuqing was still dreaming of joining the police force. There was a high chance of his family putting a stop to this. Even if they didn’t, so long as they had even the slightest connections with his future career path, he would definitely be forced to stay in Yanzhou, any and all applications to go to a wholly unaffiliated city being rejected.

Meanwhile, Yuqing was unwilling to stay behind.

Fang Yuqing had actually mentioned that he hoped for Yuqing to remain in Yanzhou, but she had refused. She wanted to return to her hometown, Suzhou. To ask a girl to stay alone in a foreign city to wait for an undecided man…this was already unfair in itself.

“How about going into business? Have you ever thought about that?” Xu Tingsheng asked, “There’s considerably greater freedom in that.”

Fang Yuqing shook his head, “I want to be a policeman.”

Xu Tingsheng said, “When you’ve become a policeman for real one day, you might discover then that things actually aren’t like how you think they are. If Yuqing leaves then, you would have missed out on what truly is important. Maybe when Yuqing marries, she will invite me, Apple, your sister. I wonder if she’d invite you.”

Fang Yuqing said, “Hey, stop it…stop scaring me.”

Xu Tingsheng said, “Maybe she’d call you personally, or maybe she’d ask me or your sister to hand the invitation to you. I recall Yuqing saying that she will definitely get married before she turns 25. Do you think that was a threat?”

Fang Yuqing exclaimed, “The heck, what in the world should I do then? Would my family agree to me going into business? I can go to where she is if I go into business? If my family ignores me, I won’t have the money to buy even a single flat…what the heck, I just realised all of a sudden just how useless I am.”

In the backseat of the car, Huang Yaming interjected, “You idiot, don’t you know how much your shares in Hucheng are worth?”

“Oh, right,” Fang Yuqing said.

Xu Tingsheng said, “You needn’t worry about that, isn’t it just buying houses…let’s build the best house together, right in front of Yuqing’s family home in Suzhou. If that still isn’t enough, think of a way to get her house demolished. See if she can still refuse to stay with you then.”

The other three people in the car all looked at him.

“Of course, we should first start building ‘em up here in Yanzhou,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Those four locations that we passed just now are the four pieces of land that the government will soon be taking out for auction…I intend to obtain one of them.”

“You’re really going into real estate?”

“Yeah. Even if I ultimately don’t build any houses anywhere else, I must build a beautiful district here in Yanzhou at the very least.”

“Why?”

“This place owes me a beautiful house.”

“Can’t you just buy one then.”

“Not beautiful enough.”

The other three people were left completely mystified.

There were some things that only Xu Tingsheng himself would know.

In the year 2011 of his previous life, Xu Tingsheng had come to Yanzhou for the first time. Xiang Ning had brought him along in strolling through her favourite central park, passing the trees, the grassy lawns, the wooden bridge. There had been a beautiful housing district opposite the park. Xiang Ning had commented, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could live here? The park’s so close by.”

Xu Tingsheng had asked, “Why?”

Even as she continued daydreaming, Xiang Ning had said, “We can stroll here together every night after dinner! Especially when I’m pregnant, you’ve got to support me as I walk. Also, look. The lawns here are so thick and soft. When we have a baby in the future, we can let him play on them. It’ll be okay even if he falls down…”

Back then, the initial stage of his business start-up having gone rather smoothly, a high-spirited Xu Tingsheng had said, “Let’s buy it then.”

Xiang Ning hurriedly waved her hands, “No, no…I was just caught up in my fantasies. The flats here are all very big. They’re also the most expensive in Yanzhou. I hear they cost nearly twenty thousand yuan. My Mum and Dad came over to look at them several times right after they’d been built. We didn’t have enough money to buy one then, and regretted it to death afterwards. As for us, we can just buy a small flat when we have money. It’s fine even if it’s a bit further away.”

Xu Tingsheng said, “Right here. I will buy it for you, and for our child as well. Trust me.”

Never would the Xu Tingsheng of back then have thought that everything might turn out like that afterwards. While Xiang Ning might never have taken this promise to heart, this was such a grand mockery and utter joke to him.

Therefore, Yanzhou owed Xu Tingsheng a beautiful house.

As Fang Yuqing understood somewhat less about Yanzhou, he asked Xu Tingsheng, “Which one of them do you want? “

Four pieces of land.

No.1 was located in the central city district. It had formerly been a teaching school, but had already moved to some new premises.

No.2 was located close to the bus station. As bus stations were still yet to be viewed as installations which drove economy in the suburbs in this day and age, this was actually a great spot as well.

No.3 was located by the round city highway. Those with cars definitely wouldn’t think it too out of the way. There were mountains there and a river nearby. Building a small villa district there would surely be good.

No.4 was located along the east coast of the Yanzhou River. A bridge had to be crossed to get there. As the locals put it: Cross the bridge and there’s the village.

Xu Tingsheng said, “Of course it’d have to be the best one.”

Fang Yuqing asked, “Got enough funds?”

Xu Tingsheng said, “Thinking of a plan.”

Fang Yuqing said, “If you want to do it with Hucheng, perhaps you’d still have to ask for Tianyi’s opinion, and that old demoness Fang Chen and Lu Zhixin too. You might even have to ask Old Wai and his wife for their opinions.”

“I don’t intend to do it with Hucheng. I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Register a new company. Call it something like Zhicheng(Extreme Sincerity), and as for the district, we can call it…Ningyuan(Ning Garden).”

Zhicheng Ningyuan(Extreme Sincerity, Ning Garden).

Hence did the other three all fall silent as they directed deep, meaningful looks at Xu Tingsheng.

“Ning Garden’s great, isn’t it! It’s got the meaning of congregating, gathering together. Whether those buying the flats interpret it as ‘reunion’ or ‘gathering treasures and accumulating fortune’, it’s all very auspicious!” Xu Tingsheng explained.

The three snorted disdainfully.

“Stop talking rubbish. Just talk about what you want us to do now. It couldn’t be that you asked us out to help inspect those plots of land. We wouldn’t know how to do that,” Fang Yuqing said.

Adopting an earnest expression, Xu Tingsheng said, “I want you guys to spread this news when you are hanging out at the usual places over this period of time. Then, try your best to take note of their reactions when they hear the news and tell me about it afterwards.”

“Why?”

“Yuqing’s position in his family is really too low. Therefore, in Yanzhou, be it in terms of money or connections, I’ll have to borrow the help of these people. You guys just mention it once and see how they react to it.”

“I’ll invite them to eat afterwards and mention it clearly again, after which I’ll look again at their reactions and attitude towards this. Through such a comparison, I’ll be able to better determine which of them truly wish to participate, having considered it seriously as they are willing to invest their efforts in it.”

Fang Yuqing felt rather despondent at Xu Tingsheng’s first sentence. Still, he indeed had a very low position in his family.

“Right, Yuqing, you should attend Hucheng’s meeting next weekend. There are some things then that will be pretty important. As a shareholder…you’ll have to be present even if it’s just sitting there,” Xu Tingsheng said.

Fang Yuqing had basically been wholly uninvolved in all Hucheng’s previous decisions and policies prior to this. Xu Tingsheng had always allowed him to do whatever he wanted. This time, however, he seemed really solemn…

“Will the meeting this time be very important?” Fang Yuqing asked in bewilderment.

“Yeah. Hucheng’s about to go full steam ahead,” Xu Tingsheng said.


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