Chapter 301: Taking a few bends in life
Though nothing had actually happened, in truth, when Xu Tingsheng awoke the next day, Li Wan’er had already left just like what often happened in movies.
Xu Tingsheng tried to look for a note. There wasn’t one.
Then, the doorbell rang. He opened the door.
Li Wan’er was dressed in her normal clothes, smiling brightly as she stood outside the door.
“I’ve made you breakfast,” She said.
This didn’t seem to happen in movies. Xu Tingsheng drew the curtains open. The two sat by the window, eating breakfast together beneath the incandescent rays of the sun. Li Wan’er said that the sunlight was great. She also asked: What’re you looking at me for?
Xu Tingsheng said, “You look even brighter than the sun today.”
Hearing him saying this out of the blue, Li Wan’er asked, “Huh?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “You’re like a little girl in the first ever relationship of her life.”
Having been called a little girl by a twenty-year-old guy, Li Wan’er did feel awkward. Still, she was filled with joy and satisfaction as she smiled, a standard French smile with the corners of her mouth upturned as it was bright and elegant.
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment before he said, “Actually, you still have a lot of time. If before July next year, you…”
Li Wan’er replied, “I know what you mean. You don’t have to say it. Relax, I’ll go by my heart. I definitely won’t make any decisions based on gratitude…”
After breakfast, Xu Tingsheng received a call. Like he had predicted, his conditions had all been accepted.
Li Wan’er accompanied Xu Tingsheng in going to get the contract signed.
With quite a bit of time still remaining before his afternoon flight, Li Wan’er asked Xu Tingsheng, “What do you want to do next?”
Xu Tingsheng considered this, “I want to look at the work you do, see how you live everyday.”
Xu Tingsheng was surprised to see Angelo at the tailor workshop where Li Wan’er worked. With Li Wan’er’s introduction, Angelo remembered Xu Tingsheng as well as he now jabbered a whole bunch in incomprensible Italian.
Xu Tingsheng asked Li Wan’er what he had said.
Li Wan’er smiled, shaking her head as she refused to tell him.
Xu Tingsheng said, “I’m leaving then.”
Li Wan’er said, “I’ll tell you then.”
“Mister Angelo says congratulations for having found a woman who will put on your tie for you. He also congratulated me…the rest was all him praising himself, saying that he’s the avatar of the God of Love, Cupid. He’s misunderstood our relationship.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Well, it also can’t be considered a misunderstanding.”
He turned and told Angelo ‘thank you’ in English.
Angelo began jabbering again.
Xu Tingsheng looked at Li Wan’er.
This time, Li Wan’er resolutely refused to say anything.
Another woman with an Oriental face walked over, telling Xu Tingsheng, “Mister Angelo says that you’ve won the princess of this old street, plucked its most beautiful flower. Many people will feel jealous of you, such as those men who have already accumulated countless suits in their homes. She is strong yet also fragile. Please take good care of her.”
Xu Tingsheng was rendered momentarily speechless before he smiled awkwardly, “Thank you.”
In the time that remained, Xu Tingsheng watched on as Li Wan’er concentrated on her work. Her side profile as she was deeply absorbed in her work made for a pleasant sight indeed as even those occasionally dangling strands of hair were like thin lines illustrated from Da Vinci’s brush.
She was calm, maintaining that stable rhythm that was neither fast nor slow, her footsteps included.
It was only when she looked up from her work once in a while that she would appear rather flustered.
The mood here was simple yet blissful. It made one want to stay behind.
Yet, Xu Tingsheng was going to be leaving very soon.
The people in the workshop were mostly friendly and mild-mannered though some of them were a bit lacking in terms of social skills as even their manners and pleasantries felt rather unnatural.
Li Wan’er looked up, smiling at him, “They are the true legacy craftsmen. While Italy isn’t a very traditional place, you can always still find this sort of people who view their inherited legacies and persistence in it to be completely natural. For example, there was someone here who became a top grandmaster because of brushing leather shoes. On the flip side…we’ve lost a lot in terms of restlessness.”
Actually, whether a person thinks of themselves as successful is generally decided by society’s innate worth-bestowing power. Amidst the comparatively restless state of affairs today, money and status seem to have become the sole benchmark of success.
For example, for an outstanding teacher who has nurtured countless talents, so long as they were not in the higher rungs of their organisation or did not receive the special treatment and subsidies that others were entitled to, in the eyes of most people, he or she can never claim to be successful as they should instead be subject to mockery. In terms of success, everyone will generally view them as being far from comparable to a principal, chairman, or even Year Head.
This is because the basis of their judgments is that they do not grasp authority, whereas their wages are actually not much higher than that of people simply muddedly living out their days.
And whenever youngsters concentrate on a field of their interest which is not recognised by the general public, they are generally derided as being good-for-nothing, however outstanding they may actually be in that field.
Xu Tingsheng was similarly unable to change this prevailing value system. It had always been society changing people, and never people reversing society.
Li Wan’er sent Xu Tingsheng to the airport.
The last thing Xu Tingsheng said to her was still, “You still have a lot of time.”
Li Wan’er said, “I’ll be waiting for you to come back.”
She had said ‘come back’.
After leaving the airport, Li Wan’er did not return to the workshop. Instead, she went off to the church, repenting and praying. When she finally re-emerged, her footsteps were much lighter than before…
Because of her marriage, she had left home for six years.
A crisis had befallen her family, and she had been in dire straits.
Then, Xu Tingsheng had appeared, once, twice…
This person had brought about so much change in Li Wan’er’s life. Presently, he had saved her from her predicament, re-securing for her the life and future that she was used to and loved so?
As Li Wan’er imagined this scene, a beatific smile hung on her face.
She had once thought that she would grow old and die alone. For six whole years, she had thought that her life would be like this, that there would be no further change to it. As a result, everything that had happened now caused her to feel blissful and filled with anticipation. There was not much in life that she asked for.
Taking a few bends in life.
How many more bends would there be?
From Milan to Paris.
There was no time for Xu Tingsheng to feel the least bit romantic as right after he landed and opened his phone, Lu Zhixin reported to him the latest news back within the country.
A day ago, Hucheng had announced that it would be resuming its free-of-charge services.
The next day, perhaps on this very same day that Xu Tingsheng arrived in Paris, the bosses of the two newly-created platforms that had arisen as Hucheng’s competitors, Xueyou Education and Youxin Tongcheng, successively spoke to the media.
There were two news articles.
The headline of one of them was: We made Hucheng free again.
The general idea was that their appearance had benefited countless consumers, saving them from being exploited by Hucheng any longer. For otherwise, Hucheng would never have gone back to not charging fees. Hence, they should rightfully receive the support of the consumers.
Xu Tingsheng thought about it and felt that this actually made quite a bit of sense.
The headline of the other article was rather more openly antagonistic. It read: We will bring down Hucheng.
In an interview, the boss of Youxin Tongcheng likened the current situation to that of the ‘Three Kingdoms’ era in this particular field. Correspondingly, in terms of the troops and generals they possessed as well as the sufficiency of their field provisions, they believed that Hucheng would unquestionably be the first to leave the field in this longstanding war.
Hucheng did not possess substantial monetary resources and had lost an important source of income after announcing that it would be resuming its free-of-charge services…how were they supposed to tide through this?
As many people saw it, for Hucheng for whom all had been smooth thus far…there they were now, terribly vulnerable and exposed to the elements.
Yet, two days passed, and Hucheng had not given any response whatsoever.
Xu Tingsheng basically finished contacting the construction materials supplier here within the next two days. He walked alone in this ‘capital of romance’ with nothing romantic occurring at all.
Forming a strong discrepancy with this was how Xu Tingsheng’s phone was virtually blown up with calls everyday.
On the train to Nice, Xu Tingsheng chose to switch off his phone.