Chapter 277: Rationality is a correct but hateful thing
Ye Qing was key to the combat power of the newly established Black Horse Club. She gave the others confidence and someone they could rely on. After she had acted, everyone followed suit.
Xu Tingsheng took the initiative to go over and toast Ye Qing.
“Thank you, Sis Qing. With you here, I feel that the Black Horse Club may really be able to succeed,” Xu Tingsheng said sincerely.
“Don’t just thank me. I expect results. I’m a very ambitious person, and I expect great results as well. Although I still can’t understand you, just based on all that you’ve achieved in the past one over year and your performance today, I’ve decided to bet on you, bet on your success.”
Ye Qing downed the wine, looking at Xu Tingsheng with a cold, beautiful smile on her face.
Her intentions were clear. She was not betting on how much revenue this piece of business would be able to generate. Instead, she was betting that Xu Tingsheng would rise to prominence hereafter, becoming an external source of assistance for her.
Now, Ding Sen who had been continually ignored by them finally took a pen, asking loudly, “Do your words count?”
He ultimately dared not test out what might result if he suddenly brought so much trouble to his family all at once.
As for the contract, perhaps it was just as Xu Tingsheng thought and it lacked only a signature.
“You can rest assured on that,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Ding Sen glanced again at Ye Qing for confirmation. She nodded.
And so, Ding Sen signed the contract and tossed the pen aside before getting up and heading straight for the door.
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao moved forward to intercept him.
“What is the meaning of this?” Ding Sen halted, asking.
“How about a 1v1?” Huang Yaming shot back.
Ding Sen had an incredulous expression on his face as he spread his hands apart, asking, “1v1? Are you a small-time thug or have you not grown up yet?”
Huang Yaming smiled, “Both are fine. This is just how we village folk are. Suffering a wrong and bearing a grievance, we will only feel satisfied when our fists land on someone’s face. As for all that scheming behind the scenes, taking advantage or whatnot, it just doesn’t feel real enough.”
Finding no way to communicate with Huang Yaming, Ding Sen turned to look at the others.
Everyone ignored him except for Hu Shengming who, facing away from him, said one last thing, “Treat everything just now as official business and this now as a private matter. I feel that it’s perfectly normal for private matters to be settled with fists. Did you forget how you charged in with all those people just now? So, it was you who wanted to solve things with violence first. It can’t be that you fight when you want to and stop fighting when you don’t. Should we celebrate then? Warmly send you off?”
Huang Yaming went on, “I also seem to have heard that you pushed Xu Tingsheng earlier. And what’s more, you said just now that you wanted to break his arms and legs…break his arms and legs, break his arms and legs?! I heard it, and I remember it!”
Huang Yaming repeated those five words several times. At the end of it, his voice escalated into a roar.
Xu Tingsheng did not intend to stop him. This was Huang Yaming’s personality. Ever since senior high, he had been the most reckless, most vicious and most vengeful of the trio.
Whenever anyone had dared to treat Xu Tingsheng or Fu Cheng like this back then, he would always be the first one to charge forward.
Even when Xu Tingsheng had been derided by Class 7 during the first mock examinations in twelfth grade, he had already reacted to the mockery so intensely. Because Xu Tingsheng had already been punished with detention back then, he had even intended to charge forward alone.
Much less had to be said about now, when Ding Sen had brought more than twenty people over, saying that he wanted to break Xu Tingsheng’s arms and legs.
Xu Tingsheng believed that even if those twenty plus people had really charged in earlier, even without any backup whatsoever, Huang Yaming would still have charged forward heedlessly. Back when Ding Sen’s lackeys had entered earlier, he had gone forth to block their path…
In truth, he had not been as confident as Xu Tingsheng that Wu Kun would intervene. Having seen Wu Kun’s hesitation, he had mentally prepared himself for a scenario in which their side would only have four valorous combatants.
As the situation had changed afterwards, with Xu Tingsheng wanting to handle the Lu Family’s matter, Huang Yaming had repressed his anger up till now.
Actually, Xu Tingsheng himself was angry as well. Just as Huang Yaming said, Ding Sen had said that he would break his arms and legs. If the situation had not been reversed afterwards, Xu Tingsheng knew that he might truly have suffered that fate…Ding Sen had prepared those henchmen long beforehand.
It was impossible as well as unnecessary for him to reconcile with Ding Sen. Their interests might still conflict in the future over the acquisition of those plots of land as well as the sale of the flats afterwards. Xu Tingsheng did not believe that he would let things go just like this, and from how he had treated Lu Zhixin, it could also be seen that this was someone who was truly dishonourable and unscrupulous.
Therefore, why not inflict a good beating on him now? It would be fine so long as things did not escalate too greatly. 1v1? This was a pretty good idea. If Huang Yaming hadn’t been in such a vengeful mood, even Xu Tingsheng himself would feel tempted to go up there and beat him up.
Huang Yaming smiled coldly, “Since no one has any objections, I’ll be going up then!”
A swaying Lu Zhixin pushed the door open and entered the room.
Seeing the scene before her, Lu Zhixin who was still somewhat drunk looked a little dazed. Only when her gaze fell upon the completely unharmed Xu Tingsheng was she finally able to relax. Tongtong soon arrived from chasing after her, resting her hand against the door and panting heavily as she exclaimed, “Stupid bitch’s so strong…I let her get away.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, “It’s okay, we’ve just finished settling the matter anyway.”
Huang Yaming continued, “That’s right! You can be responsible for cheering for me now. Let me beat up a bastard for y’all to see.”
Seeing Huang Yaming blocking Ding Sen’s path as he was about to advance on him, evading the latter’s glance that was on her, Lu Zhixin looked at Xu Tingsheng and enquired quizzically, “You…Xu Tingsheng, was this your idea?”
“It’s Yaming’s own idea. I feel that there’s no problem-1v1, it’s very fair,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
Lu Zhixin shook her head, trying to persuade him against it, “Don’t mess around, Xu Tingsheng! You’re being just like a little kid. This sort of thing, you can’t…”
Even before Xu Tingsheng could speak, Huang Yaming had already interjected in an unfriendly tone, “What do you want Tingsheng to do then?”
“…Can you let him go? I don’t want you to get into more trouble on my account,” Lu Zhixin was looking at Xu Tingsheng as she said this.
A hopeful look could be seen within the eyes of Ding Sen who dared not interrupt now.
But he ultimately ended up disappointed, as Xu Tingsheng gave no reply.
“It seems to me that you’re just worried about your own family, isn’t that right?” Huang Yaming fumed, “Lu Zhixin, you…weren’t you right in front of them when he pushed Xu Tingsheng just now? What did you do then?”
This represented the clash of two diverging systems of thought, Lu Zhixin’s mature, rational considerations versus Huang Yaming’s youthful righteousness, recklessness and anger. Lu Zhixin could give no reply now since it was true that she had not done anything at the time.
Huang Yaming continued, “I’ve already asked about it, and I know everything that happened. It’s only because of you that Tingsheng was so repressed, you know that? There were clearly more than ten people standing behind him at the time. He only held it in because of you, you know? I’ve never seen him so repressed before.”
“Also, are you acting dumb or did you really not see it just now? It was this dude surnamed Ding who came looking for Tingsheng with over twenty people in tow. And did you hear what he said? He said he was gonna break Tingsheng’s arms and legs.”
“No, I do know that. But what I mean is, don’t do anything rash! I’m afraid that…”
The current Lu Zhixin who was unable to beat even Huang Yaming in a verbal dispute was rare indeed.
She had still yet to comprehend the situation entirely. She was still all hung up about Xu Tingsheng offending Ding Sen and the Ding Family because of her. She did not want him to make an enemy out of them just like this. That would really be detrimental to his development right now when his wings had still yet to grow completely.
Of course, it was also necessary for her to consider the Lu Family and her father. Because of that, she did not want this matter to escalate.
This might have nothing to do with selfishness, instead being because she had become used to looking at issues in a rational way ever since young.
Fighting never really solved anything at all. Instead, this might cause trouble for the Lu Family as well as Xu Tingsheng himself. From Lu Zhixin’s usual perspective of looking at things, this was very foolish and very childish as well.
If she were to voice this out now, Huang Yaming would retort, “The hell are you talking about? This old man’s just gonna vent it out. What does anything else matter?”
Huang Yaming was in no mood for whatever bullshit rationality now as he let rip with a vulgarity before directly castigating Lu Zhixin, “Goddamnit, if he was holding the advantage now, do you think he would let Tingsheng go? What then? Would you tell him to let it go or just watch on as he breaks Xu Tingsheng’s arms and legs? The heck, he prepared for this long beforehand. Do you think he was just saying it and didn’t actually mean it?”
This was just how things were. Ding Sen had come specifically to deal with Xu Tingsheng today. Even calling Lu Zhixin here had been part of his plan to deal with him. Perhaps he had wanted her to watch how he trampled on Xu Tingsheng underfoot, giving him a greater kick out of his sweet revenge.
Thinking back on all that had transpired now, even Xu Tingsheng himself felt rather afraid of what might otherwise have happened here.
As Huang Yaming bellowed in outrage, Ding Sen cowered in a corner, not daring to utter a sound. However wealthy and influential he was, it really made no difference at all. If Huang Yaming could not be stopped, he would be beaten tragically into a dog.
“If it were Apple and someone wanted to break Xu Tingsheng’s arms and legs, she’d take a knife and stab that person for Xu Tingsheng.”
This was what Huang Yaming muttered at the end.
Due to these words, Lu Zhixin’s heart was shaken somewhat.
“Boss, this kind of…stupid bitch, what do you still want her for? She’ll literally anger you to death.”
Tongtong was stoking the flames from the side as with her worldview and temperament, she really couldn’t stand watching this go on any longer. She promptly decided that Lu Zhixin was retarded and mentally unbalanced, feeling so outraged that she truly looked down on her even disregarding her own private agenda.
Huang Yaming secretly flashed her a thumbs up.
Xu Tingsheng knew that from a rational standpoint, Lu Zhixin had actually said nothing wrong. Yet, he just did not feel like saying anything right now. Why in the world must he be so rational?
Lu Zhixin’s ringtone broke the tense atmosphere. She glanced at her handphone and hesitated for a moment, still answering her call in the end.
Lu Zhixin said only one thing before beginning to listen from start to end. Xu Tingsheng saw how she was trying to hold back her tears but was still unable to do so in the end.
When she hung up, Xu Tingsheng told Ding Sen in a completely indifferent tone, “You can go.”
Because of this call, Xu Tingsheng had to calm down and consider the Lu Family’s situation. At the very least, the primary conflict had been shifted onto him now. With the contract also already having been signed, the partnership between the Lu and Ding families would still be continuing.
It was hard to say, but Mr Lu who had been ‘tacitly allowing’ this situation might even become hostile towards him as a result of today’s events.
Having yet to understand the Lu Family’s situation completely, Xu Tingsheng was truly unable to comprehend what kind of state and mentality Mr Lu was in right now. Still, because of Lu Zhixin, he allowed himself to get ‘kidnapped’.
Ding Sen’s gaze flickered as he glanced first at Huang Yaming and then at Xu Tingsheng.
“Go on,” Xu Tingsheng said.
Lu Zhixin too looked at Xu Tingsheng, her lips quivering though she did not speak. She knew full well why Xu Tingsheng who had initially been silent throughout had suddenly changed his mind. It was because of her and the Lu Family.
Huang Yaming scolded ‘heck’, turning and downing a big glass of wine before slamming it down on the table.
Ding Sen whose face had still been pale a moment ago was revitalised as he took a moment to compose himself before feigning calmness, “Well…farewell then. Let’s play again when it’s time to bid for the land. It wouldn’t be a problem that I caused then. However intense it gets, my father still wouldn’t be able to blame me for it. You won’t be able to threaten me with those things again. Still, honestly speaking, I feel that you guys aren’t qualified to compete at all.”
With that, Ding Sen who had found back some face pushed the door open and left.
He had spoken rightly. It would be an intense ‘business competition’ then. The Ding Family who stood with the Jinxiong Corporation held an incomparably great advantage. As for these people that Xu Tingsheng had found, it could actually be said that this was just their private business. They did not have much speaking power in their family and were unable to exert much power.
Xu Tingsheng tried to pacify Huang Yaming but ended up getting ignored. He could only turn towards Wu Kun, Ye Qing and the rest, saying, “Following on what Ding Sen said just now, in competing for the land this time, I feel that there are still some things that should be laid out on the table first.”
Wu Kun nodded, waving away the women there who were accompanying them in making merry.
They streamed out of the room. Tongtong who had been standing at the doorway was the last to leave. Despite feeling unresigned and unwilling to give up just like this, she could only helplessly follow them out.
“Tongtong!” Xu Tingsheng shouted.
“Yes?” Tongtong joyfully turned.
“Come here for a moment.”
“Give me your phone.”
Xu Tingsheng took Tongtong’s incredibly sleek phone and typed in his number even as he said, “I’ve troubled you today. I’ll ask Bro Kun to take more care of you in the future. Then, I’ve saved my number for you. If you meet with any problem where it’s inconvenient for you to look for Bro Kun, you can call me then. I’ll see if I can be of any help.”
Retrieving her phone from Xu Tingsheng, Tongtong was over the moon as she exited the room.
Just having wiped her tears away, Lu Zhixin felt rather at a loss as she continued standing by the doorway, not knowing whether she should enter or leave. The people in the room clearly had something to discuss that they did not want outsiders hearing.
“What about me? What am I considered as here?” Lu Zhixin wondered.
It was usually her who controlled the entire situation. Yet tonight, she felt completely lost.
“Find a place and sit down. Listening a little would also be good,” Xu Tingsheng said warmly.
As this meant that Xu Tingsheng still trusted her, some joy and relief surged in Lu Zhixin’s heart as she nodded, “Okay.”
Then, she found a nearby spot and sat down, trying hard to make her still rather dizzy self sober up as she listened intently. She had just heard about the matter of ‘competing for the land’. As she had never heard Xu Tingsheng mention this before, she got into ‘workaholic mode’ again.
Xu Tingsheng no longer paid her any heed as he said to the others in the room, “There was something that Ding Sen was right about. The upcoming competition may be intense indeed. The struggle for power is something that can happen anywhere. Everyone has to be mentally prepared for it. Also, an opponent like the Jinxiong Corporation is indeed much more powerful than us. As for us, just like I said to you earlier, we were the last to arrive at the scene, scruffy and unkempt…”
Everyone laughed at that.
Xu Tingsheng said earnestly, “I’m serious. Things won’t be easy at all. All of us may have to face various pressures from all around us. Of course, there may be temptations as well. The longer one lasts beneath the pressure, the greater these temptations would be. Therefore…”
While Xu Tingsheng did not finish his sentence, everyone understood what he meant.
This was a very difficult topic to answer.
“What do we do then? If I swore to the gods…would you believe me?” Hu Shengming asked.
Having a natural mood-maker was a good thing. Everyone laughed.
Yet, Hu Shengming himself did not laugh as he said, “Don’t laugh, guys. I’m serious. I really don’t know what’s to be done. What do you think can be done about this? Besides swearing. The problem is-is swearing really enough? It was so difficult for everyone to party together. It would be terribly sad if we fell apart just a while later over some pressures and temptations.”
Hu Shengming’s words caused many people to fall into a deep silence as they pondered.
“Anyway, I really wouldn’t like to give this up. Scheming truly gets tiring before long,” He added amidst the silence.
Xu Tingsheng thought for a bit before smiling, “It isn’t that serious, actually. I just said that the longer we hold under pressure, the greater the temptations will be. Everyone gets this, right?”
They all nodded.
Xu Tingsheng continued, “Therefore, if anyone really wants to back out later on, please hold on for a bit longer before backing out.”
While this sounded a bit like a joke, it was actually very practical and realistic. The best way to prevent ‘greed’ and ‘betrayal’ was ‘tying down’ and ‘tempting’ the people in question with even more enticing benefits.
Xu Tingsheng did not speak any further. As everyone was discussing this issue, he found a pen before casually grabbing a napkin from the table and beginning to write some things on top of it.
When he was done writing, Xu Tingsheng looked up, waiting for everyone’s gazes to fall on him before he smiled and enquired, “If I said that I can project, can predict what will be happening every step of the way and the entire upcoming sequence of events, would y’all believe me?”
Now this was really a joke. Everyone laughed, including Ye Qing and Lu Zhixin who was sitting a considerable distance away from him.
Of course, Lu Zhixin felt rather more moved by this. She clearly realised that despite his seeming nonchalance, this was actually the first time that Xu Tingsheng was expending his energies on controlling the entire situation. This was completely different from how he usually was in Hucheng.
Lu Zhixin was filled with anticipation at what was to come.
“I’m serious,” Xu Tingsheng said after the laughter had subsided, “I need you guys to trust me completely throughout on this, and there’s no other way about it. This is the only method that I can think of.”
“…So miraculous?” Hu Shengming extended a hand, “Can I have a look?”
“It actually isn’t that miraculous. I’ve just written down my approximate predictions regarding the various stages of this matter as well as the strategies I intend to adopt to deal with them. Still, I can’t let you look at this now or it would instead be pointless,” Xu Tingsheng smiled, explaining.
“It still does seem rather profound,” Gao Yupo said.
“It seems rather frivolous,” Chen Yan said.
“You’re really not giving me much face at all,” Xu Tingsheng leveraged on his shamelessness and smiled, “There really is no other way. The process will be very complex, and I will have to supply you with confidence and support at some crucial moments, obtaining your absolute trust. Can you guys accompany me in being frivolous for once? At least accompany me in playing out one stage of this. You won’t have to spend a single cent during this stage. How about it?”
Everyone smiled wryly as their feeling of having come aboard a thieving vessel only grew more and more intense.
Xu Tingsheng simply took this to mean that no one was against his idea as he turned towards Wu Kun, asking, “Bro Kun, do you have safes here?”
Wu Kun said that he did.
A safe was quickly sent over. Xu Tingsheng tore the napkin into three and put them in layer by layer.
“I’ll put in a passcode. Afterwards, Bro Kun, Sis Qing, Sis Chu, Chen Yan and Yupo should each set in a passcode as well, preventing me from making a switch. When all of you feel that there is a need for me to explain to you some decision of mine, we’ll open it together and confirm it once then. How about that?”
Since they were already aboard this thieving vessel, everyone could only accompany Xu Tingsheng in his little game now, though they knew not if they should be laughing or crying.
“If this isn’t a joke, it’s the epitome of planning. We’d definitely stand by you in the future,” The last one to set in a passcode, Gao Yupo, said.
The passcodes were fixed.
Everyone went off to do their own things.
Before they all scattered, Xu Tingsheng individually bid farewell to everyone before walking over to Lu Zhixin and asking, “Are you feeling better now?”
“I, I’m fine,” Lu Zhixin did not dare to look at Xu Tingsheng as she replied in a low tone.
“Let’s go then. I’ll send you home.”
Lu Zhixin got up and followed after Xu Tingsheng rather uneasily.
Huang Yaming, Tan Yao and Fang Yuqing walked ahead of the two of them.
The pleasant tapping of high-heeled shoes halted as the cold, beautiful Ye Qing stopped by the distant staircase. Who was she waiting for?
The trio up front walked over.
Ye Qing looked at them and called for Tan Yao, asking him mildly, “Can you drive?”
Feeling rather nervous, Tan Yao said, “Yes.”
Ye Qing casually threw her car keys to Tan Yao with practised ease.
“I’ve drunk a bit too much. Send me home,” She said.
“Huh?” Tan Yao asked.
“Is there a problem?”
“Let’s go then.”
Tan Yao left with Ye Qing just like that. He had definitely never looked this domineering when he had gone out with chicks before.
Huang Yaming was wide-eyed and speechless as he turned back and glanced at Xu Tingsheng, mouthing, “The heck.”
Fang Yuqing did the exact same thing.
Xu Tingsheng mouthed back, “Thirty and ravenous.”
The two replied, “You win.”
Fang Yuqing wanted to go home. He drove off and left first.
Huang Yaming was already in front of the car. Still, he hesitated for a moment before telling Xu Tingsheng, “I’m not going back. I’m going to go find a girl. You two leave first.”
From start to end, he had never even bothered saying a single thing to Lu Zhixin, ackowledging her presence.
The two were rather silent in the car.
Lu Zhixin struggled for a long time before finally forcing out the words, “Ding Sen’s matter…”
“It’s already settled,” Xu Tingsheng answered rather coldly.
As a result, Lu Zhixin could not continue talking about this.
After a while, Lu Zhixin found a new topic as she asked, “You intend to go into real estate?”
Xu Tingsheng answered, “Yeah, I think that this market has quite the potential.”
Lu Zhixin smiled, “I didn’t know about it at all.”
Xu Tingsheng explained, “I thought that you were already tired out from Hucheng’s matter. Because of that, I didn’t want you to have to worry about this as well.”
“I see,” Lu Zhixin replied, “And so you got those people together? The Black Horse Club?”
“How did you do it?”
“Huh? Then, that…napkin afterwards. Was it real?”
“That was real.”
“You can really do it?”
“Yeah, I’d like to hear.”
Xu Tingsheng laughed, “I can’t tell you.”
Lu Zhixin said, “Alright, I’ll be waiting with bated breath then. What about Hucheng then? What’s your new plan? Didn’t you say that you’re going to hold a meeting? You said there’s something important that you are going to announce.”
Xu Tingsheng exhaled slowly, “Sorry, Zhixin. I’m a little tired today. I don’t feel like talking about business-related matters right now. I’m actually not that interested in business. Can I talk about this when the time comes?”
Lu Zhixin considered this for a moment before acquiescing, “Okay.”
Silence descended between the two of them once more.
However, Lu Zhixin clearly wished to find something to say right now. She was most proficient in talking about business-related topics, but Xu Tingsheng had just said that he did not wish to talk about these things right now.
“So, you gave your handphone number to that Tongtong.”
“Yeah, I troubled her quite a bit today.”
“She called me a stupid bitch.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled awkwardly.
“You said that she was right.”
Xu Tingsheng pretended that he hadn’t heard that.
“She asked you not to want me anymore.”
Xu Tingsheng continued smiling, not saying a word. If Lu Zhixin was smart, it didn’t matter at all what Tongtong had said. She could not mention that thing Huang Yaming had said about Apple.
Lu Zhixin was smart.
The words were ultimately not mentioned in the end. Yet, they actually continually reverberated in both their hearts.